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Cornell University Library 
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General Joseph Graham and his papers on 


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Cornell University 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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' I / 

Gen .IdsKPn GRAHAjr. 

General Joseph Graham 




An Epitome of North Carolina's Military Services in 

THE Revolutionary War and of the Laws 

Enacted for Raising Troops 









General Joseph Graham Frontispiece 

Court House at Charlotte, May 20, 1775 40-251 

Ruins of Vesuvius Furnace 136 

Vesuvius Furnace Dwelling 159 

John D.Graham 174 

Mrs. Sophia Witherspoon 175 

James Graham - 177 

Mrs. Violet Alexander 180 

Mrs. Mary Morrison 181 

William A. Graham 182 

Machpelah Church and Cemetery... 170 



Family... 9 

1. James Graham 9 

8. Mrs. Mary Graham 15 

3. John Graham, M.D 18 

4. Queen's Museum, or Liberty Hall 19 


Gen. Geoeqe Graham 25 

1 . Services in Revolutionary War and Civil Life 26 

2. Family.... 35 


Joseph Graham 36 

1. Prior to the Eevolutionary War 36 

Convention at Charlotte, May 20th, 1775 41 

2. Services in the Eevolutionary War 42 

Engagement at Charlotte .-. .- 61 

Andy Jackson and Jo. Graham, Mrs. Alexander's anecdotes 67 

Governor Graham's criticism of National Intelligencer 80 

Hornets' Nest 84 

Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties 85 

British opinion of the inhabitants 85 

8. Subsequent to the Revolutionary War 87 

U. S. Commissioner and Sheriff of Mecklenburg county. . 87 

4. Subsequent to the Revolution 91 

Civil and political Services 91 

Conventions to Consider Constitution of U. S.. 91 

Legislative, 1788-92; State of Franklin and Jno. Sevier... 94 

Principal Laws Enacted 95 

A Plan for a Military Academy in N. C. , 1802 124 

Letter to General Davie concerning U. S. Army 184 

5. Manufacture of Iron in Lincoln County, N. C 136 

History of Iron Manufacture in Lincoln County 142 

6. War of 1812-'14 144 

7th Regiment N. C. Militia In Service of U. S., 1814. 146 

6 Contents. 

7. Civil and Personal History in Lincoln County 159 

8. Mrs. Graham and Her Father's Family 166 

History of Unity Presbyterian Church 168 

Machpelah Church and Cemetary 170 

9. Children and Grand-Children - 174 


Map of MECKLENBUEa County 1789. 





1. Correspondence Between Judge Murphey and General Graham.. 193 

1. Chronology of Revolutionary Events to be noticed 193 

3. Three Expeditions of North Carolina Troops Prior to the 
Revolutionary War - 198 

2. North Carolina Nevcspapers and Historical Matter 199 

3. Mistakes by Historians as to North Carolina Soldiers 203 

1. Cornwallis at Charlotte, 1780 202 

2. Condition of the Catavcba, January 1781 303 

3. Picken's Troops, 1781, North Carolinians— Hart's Mill 203 

4. Clapp'sMill 306 

5. Dickey's Farm — Pyle's Massacre 207 


1 . Notice of Historical Events in North Carolina 208 

3. The Battle of Ramsaur's Mill, (with note) 211 


1. Expedition Against the Tories in the Forks of the Yadkin 338 

2. Affair at Colson's Mill 230 

8. Gen. Sumter assumes command of North Carolina Troops 233 

4. Affair at Rocky Mount 236 

5. Militia will not remain in Camp except for Active Service 235 

Contents. 7 


1. Battle of Hanging Rook 339 

2. Engagement at Charlotte and the Cross Roads, and Events 

Preceding and Following 241-57 

3. Mecklenburg Self Reliant ...245 

4. General Davidson Assumes Command 346 

5. Mclntyre's Farm ; Heroes of Mclntyre's Farm .258=62 

6. Royal Governor Martin's Proclamation, October 3, 1780 263 

7. Cornwallis's Retreat to Winnsboro, S. C 269 


Battle of King's Mountain (with map) 273 

Note: Col. William's Troops North Carolinians 282 


1. Reorganization of Gates' Army 284 

2. General Green Assumes Command 285 

3. Morgan's Retreat from Cowpens 287 

4. Generals Greene, Morgan, and Davidson and Col. Washington 

Confer at Beattie's Ford 389 

5. Battle of Cowan's Ford (with map) 288 

Note: The Henry Pamphlet 303 

fl. To Salisbury and Trading Ford 300 


1. Shallow Ford ..307 

2. General Pickens Assumes Command of North Carolina Troops 311 

3. Hart's Mill 313 

Col. R. H. Lee (Light-horse Harry) arrives with his Legion. 817 

4. Pyle's Massacre 318 

Tarleton's Account of it 332 

5. Dickey's Farm 334 

Death of Major Micajah Lewis 336 

6. Clapp'sMill 339 

Brittish Mistake Tories for Americans 339 

7. WhitseU's Mill 340 

8 Contents. 



1. General Thomas Polk Succeeds General Davidson as Brigadier 

General - 351 

2. General Sumter Raises Troops in Mecklenburg and Rowan Coun- 

ties for South Carolina Regiments - 353 

Major Craige at Wilmington - ..853 

3. General Rutherford's Campaign on the Cape Fear 356 

McFall's Mills -- 358 

Raft Swamp - 360 

Governor Martin _ 363 

Moore's Plantation 366 

Brick House 369 

Great Bridges 370 

Colonel Gainey 371 

Seven Creek's j 371 

Surrender of Cornwallis .- ..373 

4. Final Orders of Major Graham 374 

Col. Wade's Report of Fight at Beattie's Bridge, Aug., 1781 375 


North Corolina's Military Service in the Revolutionary War 378 

Laws Enacted Raising Troops for Service 380 



1. James Graham. 3. John Graham, M,D. 

2. Mrs. Mary Graham. 4. Queen's Museum or IvIberty Hall. 


James Graham, the father of Joseph Graham, was of 
Scotch-Irish descent. When the Province of Ulster had 
been greatly depopulated by the armies of Elizabeth 
and James I. on account of the adherence of the inhabi- 
tants to the Roman Catholic religion and their opposi- 
tion to the establishment in their country of the Church 
of England, King James endeavored to repopulate it 
with emigrants from England and Scotland, and also 
with Irish Protestants. Grants of land were made to 
these on condition that buildings should be erected and 
other designated improvements made in a specified time. 
The Scotch emigrants: settled mostly in the counties of 
Antrim and Down. The Scots who went to Ireland were 
called Scotch-Irish, to distinguish them from their 
brethren who remained in Scotland. Their descendants 
have retained this designation in all laiids to which 
they have emigrated, and especially in America. They 
are not an admixture of the Scotch and Irish races, but 
are Scots who lived in Ireland and their descendants. 

Rev. Alexander Stuart, in his book, "A Short Account 


of the Church of Christ as It was Amongst the Irish and 
After the Entry of the Scots," names among the families 
emigrating from Scotland to Ireland prior to 1618, 
Baily, Balfour, Forbes, Graham, Hamilton, Keith, Mc- 
Donald and Stuart. These names were conspicuous in 
the affairs of Scotland in the time of James Graham, 
Marquis of Montrose, known in the history of Scotland 
as "the Great Marquis." Some of them were his de- 
voted adherents. Gen. Joseph Graham, in an obitu- 
ary of his brother George Graham, in 1826, says: 
"By tradition in the family, James was a descendant 
of a kinsman and follower of the celebrated Montrose, 
who made such a conspicuous figure in the civil wars 
in Scotland in the reign of Charles I., and when the 
English army prevailed in Scotland, Montrose fled to 
Holland, and his adherents, among whom was a clan of 
the Grahams, passed over to the north of Ireland, where 
their descendants! yet reside." This kinsman of Mon- 
trose was probably Patrick Graham of Inchbrackie, 
whom Morris in his Life of Montrose says was the best 
loved and trusted of all his kinsmen. Montrose stayed 
with him at his residence, Tullibelton, on the river 
Tay, between Perth and Dunkeld, when on his way to 
rally the Highlanders in support of King Charles I., 
and Graham was his only companion to the place of as- 
sembly. He commanded the Atholmen in the battle of 
Kylsyth, and was probably with him on the fatal day at 
Philliphaugh. The Atholmen were still true to Montrose 
even after this disaster, and Patrick Graham was doubt- 
less among the faithful followers to whom Montrose 
bade farewell at Eattray before embarking for Prance. 
This kinsman of Montrose probably came to Ireland in 


1646-9. James Graliam was bom in 1714, and was, it is 
believed, his grandson or great-grandson. 

Morris gives the following branches of the clan Gra- 
ham as represented at the funeral of the father of Mon- 
trose in 1626: 

Montrose, Inchbrackie, 

Claverhouse, Morphie, 

Fintrie, Orchill, 

As there was a tide of emigration from Scotland to 
Ireland in the seventeenth century, so one hundred years 
later there was one from Ireland to America, chiefly to 
the Province of Pennsylvania. Among these emigrants 
was James Graham, from the north of Carlingford Bay, 
County Down, Ireland, in 1733, who at the age of nine- 
teen years, came to the county of Berks, Pennsylvania. 
It is not positively known which of his kindred came 
with him, but there were Grahams among the emigrants 
v/ho, about this time, settled in Lancaster County, only 
twenty miles distant, and it is probable that some of 
these were his kindred. Among these were John and 
James Graham, from County Donegal, who afterwards 
moved to the Calf Pasture, in Virginia. Their descend- 
ants are still found in Augusta County and in South- 
west Virginia. Also Michael Graham, a descendant of 
Montrose, and whose grandson. Rev. Wm. Graham, was 
the first president of Washington College, now Wash- 
ington and Lee University.^ This college has always 
been under the control of the Presbyterians. Montrose 
was not a Roman Catholic, but a Presbyterian, who was 

• The Graham Family by David Graham. 


loyal to his king although of different religions faith. 
Charles I. was not a Romanist, but of the Church of 
England. Montrose was excluded from the kirk on 
account of his loyalty to Charles, and not for his relig- 
ious belief. He so professed when asked to recant by 
the ministers who attended him at the time of his exe- 

"I am very sorry that any actions of mine have been offensive to 
the church of Scotland, and I would with all my heart be recon- 
ciled to the same. But since I can not obtain it on any other terms 
unless I call that my sin which I account to have been my duty, I can 
not for all the reason and conscience in the world." Again, "It Is 
objected against me by many, even good people, that I am under the 
censure of the church. This is not my fault, seeing it is only for 
doing my duty, by obeying my Prince's most just commands, for 
religion, his sacred person and authority. Yet I am sorry they did 
excommunicate me; and in that which is according to God's laws 
without robbing my conscience or allegiance I desire to be relaxed."^ 


I have been unable to learn the maiden name of his 
first wife. She bore him six children, viz. : 1, James, 
2 Henry, 3 Charles, 4 William, 5 Elizabeth — who mar- 
ried James Hennery, 6 Mary — who married Lewis Mor- 
gan. Henry died unmarried shortly after his father. 
In 1765, William does not appear as a legatee in the dis- 
tribution of Henry's estate; he may have died prior 


After the death of his first wife he married Mrs. 
Mary Barber, whose maiden name was McConnell and 
who had one child, Esther, by her first husband. This 

^ Life of Montrose, Morris. 


marriage probably occurred about 1750. In 1765 the 
Orphans' Court of Chester County, Penn., appointed 
Evan Evans guardian of the five children, none of whom 
was fourteen years of age. By this marriage James 
Graham had five children, viz., John, George and 
Joseph, notices of whom follow in this book, and two 
daughters (1) Sarah, who married Eobert Allison, 
grandfather of the late E. Washington Allison, father 
of Senator John P. Allison, of Cabarrus County, and who 
was a member of the congregation of Poplar Tent Pres- 
byterian Church, Cabarrus County. Eobert Allison died 
in 1804, Mrs. Allison in 1825. They are buried in the 
cemetery of Poplar Tent Church. (2) Ann, who 
married Thomas Barnett. They lived in the bounds 
of the Steele Creek congregation. He was the an- 
cestor of the Prices, Elms and others in that locality. 
He was a soldier in the Eevolutionary War; among 
other services he was a member of Joseph Gra- 
ham's company at Charlotte, September 26th, 1780, 
and at Cowan's Ford February 1st, 1781, and there 
fired the shot which killed Colonel Hall of the British 
Army. He died in 1832, and is buried in the Steele 
Creek Cemetery. Mrs. Barnett died near Jackson, 
Tenn., in 1841. 

James Graham died October. ., 1763, aged 49 years. 
He was then a citizen of London Britain, now (1903) 
known as Yeatman's Mill, Chester County, Penn. He 
appears as a renter of property from John Evans in 
1763, and probably earlier. He is not in the list of tax- 
ables in that township for 1758, but we find among the 
single freemen James Grimes' two sons. His will is 


recorded in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and is asi 
follows, viz. : 

In the name of God, Amen. I, James Graham, Farmer of London. 
Britain in the County of Chester and Province of fennsylvania, 
being weak and sick in body but of sound mind and perfect memory, 
do make and order my last will and testam'ent in the form and 
manner following: 

First. I leave to my son Henry fifty pounds and all my wearing 
apparel and the third of the Benefit of the place auring the lease, 
if he'll come and work it along with the three boys. 

2. I leave to my son Charles twenty pounds. 

3. I leave to my daughter Elizabeth ten pounds. 

4. I leave to my daughter Mary the Snip mare and saddle and the 
bed and stead which she lies on and 35 pounds in cash. 

Sly. I leave to my son James the gray colt and nev/ saddle and 
twenty pounds in cash. 

61y. I leave to my son William twenty pounds in cash. 

71y. I leave the remaining part of all my Estate, real and per- 
sonal, after the above Legasys are paid, to be equally divided be- 
twixt Mary, my Beloved wife, and my sons John, George & Joseph, 
& Sarah & Ann. I leave to my beloved wife over and above her 
equal share, the Doe mare and her saddle and two feather beds and 
all the Putter* and Pots. I leave the three little boys each of them 
a colt besides their proportional share. I do order that my young- 
est five children should live with their mother during her widow- 
hood and be schooled and clad out of the interest of their money 
& that if any of them should die their part should be Equally di- 
vided amongst the rest and that the three boys should be bound 
out to trades when they are fit for it. Finally I appoint Mary my 
wife and James Kennedy the Executors of this my last will and 
testament. I do hereby revoke all other wills by m'e made before 
this and do publish and declare that this and none other be my last 
will and Testament. 

Given under my hand and seal this 13th day of Oct., 1763. 

* Note.— The plates, dishes and drinking vessels of this period were gener- 
ally made of pewter and more or less ornamented or burnished. This material 
was well-suited to the rough transportation of those times. First the cups and 
saucers gave way to those of china and earthenware, and gradually the other 
articles were supplanted by those of different material. In the will of Mary Wash- 
ington, mother of the President, made twenty years subsequent to this time, as 
lately published in the papers, the tableware seems to have been of pewter with 
the exception of two tea sets (one dozen) of cups and saucers of china. Governor 
John Hancock of Massachusetts, 1786, regarded his embossed pewter plates as his 
finest table furniture. 


Signed, sealed and Delivered to be the Last Will and Testament of 
James Graham. 

James Geaham. 
Before us John Dickie 

Thomas Dugles. 
This will was proven Oct 22d, 1763. 

In 1784 Mary Graham was assessed for taxation on 
200 acres of land, four horses, four cattle, seven sheep 
and one negro. This property was doubtless the estate 
of James Graham not specified in his will. 


The Scotch-Irish, like bees, seem to have moved in 
swarms: first, from Scotland to Ireland, 1610 to 1640; 
second, from Ireland to America, 1730 to 1750; third, 
from Pennsylvania Southward, 1750 to 1775. 

■With the last came Mrs. Graham, with her cousin 
Charles Moore, to the vicinity of Spartanburg, S. C. 
She remained there but a short time, and about 1768 
removed with her children to Mecklenburg County, 
N. C. In 1771 she appears on the records of the county 
as the purchaser of two hundred acres of land on the 
head waters of Paw Creek, from Alexander Berryhill, 
for forty pounds of proclamation money. 

This place is on the Beattie's Ford road, three miles 
from Charlotte. After her death her son George re- 
sided there during his life; his son-in-law, Major Bost- 
wick, and afterwards his widowed daughters, Mrs. Car- 
ruth and Mrs. McRee succeeded him. About 1860 the 
property was sold by the family. Dr. Paul Barrin- 
ger now ( 1903 ) , chairman of the faculty of the Univer- 


sity of Virginia, owns it. It is occupied by a tenant. 
Dr. Barringer is a descendant in the fourth generation 
from Mrs. Graham. She was a member of Sugar Creek 
church, and resided within the bounds of its congrega- 
tion. She died July 7th, 1791, aged 71 years, and is 
buried in the old Sugar Creek graveyard. About 1861 
her tombstone was found leaning against the wall of 
the cemetery. Not knowing the locality of her grave, 
her grandchildren had it placed by that of her son 
George in the Presbyterian cemetery in Charlotte. She 
must have been a woman of fine business capacity and 
an excellent mother. Left a widow with six small chil- 
dren, the youngest scarcely four years old, she emigrated 
to a new section, purchased a home and reared her chil- 
dren. Although of limited means, after giving them 
such instruction as she was capable of doing she sent 
most of them to the best school in this section of the 
country, Queen's Museum. She instilled into all of 
them a love for learning and a desire to acquire knowl- 
edge. Her sons were among the most prominent men of 
their time, and probably came into public notice at an 
earlier age than any other youths of the county. 

Her daughters were the heads of families whose de- 
scendants are known for their virtues and intelligence, 
and have ever been prominent in the communities in 
T/liich they reside on account of their worth and public 

Her children were noted not only for their intelligence 
and activity in worldly matters, but were also earnest 
supporters of morality and religion. 

Although she lived in what was termed a retired sec- 
tion of the country, far from the busy marts of the 


world, and was perhaps hardly known beyond her own 
community, yet in the example she set them and the 
training she gave the children committed to her care, 
she conferred a great blessing upon her country. 

"Oh wondrous power how little understood. 
Entrusted to the mother's mind alone 
To fashion genius, form the soul for good 
Inspire ai West or train a Washington." 

I append a copy of the epitaph upon her tombstone, 
as showing the custom of those times. Nearly every 
slab in the cemetery contains verses, either original or 
copied from the "Psalms and Hymns." Some of these 
inscriptions are quite odd ; most of them refer wholly 
or partly to the Resurrection : 

"No I'll repine at death no more 
But with a cheerful gasp resign 
To the cold dungeon of the grave 
These dying withering limbs of mine. 

"Let worms devour my withering flesh 
And crum'ble all my bones to dust 
My God shall raise my frame anew 
At the revival of the just. 

"Break sacred morning thro' the skies 
Bring that delightful dreadful day 
Cut short the hours dear Lord and come 
Thy lingering wheels how long they stay. 

"Haste then upon the wings of love 
Rouse ail the pious sleeping clay 
That we may join the heavenly joys 
And sing the triumph of the day." 

The members of the Graham family in Pennsylvania 
and North Carolina maintained communication and ex- 


changed visits. They came and went by sea to and from 
Charleston, S. C, and thence by land and water to 
Mecklenburg County, for many years. Two of the sons 
came to North Carolina in 1800. On the return one was 
drowned at sea. This was the last visit. They gradu- 
ally ceased correspondence and the connection was lost. 
Mrs. J. Scott Ferguson (Nannie Graham), of Pittsburg, 
Penn., is of the Pennsylvania branch. 


Eldest son of James Graham by his second marriage, 
was born in Pennsylvania. He was educated at Queen's 
3/Iuseum, afterwards Liberty Hall, in Charlotte, and 
received a diploma or certificate, the only one now 
known to be in existence, of which the following is a 

copy : 

State of North Carolina, 

Mecklenbiibo County. 
This is to certify that Mr. John Graham hath been a student in 
the Academy of Liberty Hall, in the State and county above men- 
tioned the space of four years preceding the date hereof; that his 
whole deportment during his residence there was perfectly regular; 
that he prosecuted his studies with diligence and made such acquisi- 
tion, both in the languages and scientific learning, as gave entire 
satisfaction to his teacher. And he is hereby recommended to the 
friendly notice and regard of all lovers of Religion and Literature 
wherever he comes. 

In testimony of which this is given at Liberty Hall, this 22d of 
Novem'ber, 1778, and signed by 

Isaac V. Alexandeb, President. 
Ephbaim Brevaed, 
Abraham Alexander, 


In December, 1775, he served as a. private in tlse expe- 


dition against the Scovillite Tories. On account of 
the deep snow which fell during this campaign it is gen- 
erally called "The Snow Campaign." In 1776, John 
was a member of the company that marched from Meck- 
lenburg to aid in suppressing the Tories in the lower 
Cape Fear region. At Cross Creek, learning the re- 
sult of the battle at Moore's Creek Bridge, his company 
returned home. In this company were twenty students 
of Queen's Museum, of which he was a student. It was 
commanded by Dr. Ephraim Brevard, who was then a 
professor in the college. An account of these expedi- 
tions taken from his journal was published in The 
Southern Home, Charlotte, N. C, in 1874. 

After graduating at Liberty Hall he taught school 
several years, then went to Philadelphia as tutor in 
the family of the celebrated Doctor Kush, with whom he 
"read medicine." He procured sufficient funds to at- 
tend medical lectures, and was graduated as a physician 
from the University of Pennsylvania. 

He married Miss Margaret Witherspoon, of York 
County, South Carolina, and settled at Blacksburg, in 
that State. 

They had no children. 


John Graham was a graduate and Joseph a student 
of this school. The building stood upon the lot on 
which the Mecklenburg County court-house now (1903) 

Prior to 1770 there were in this Province only two 
academies chartered by the Legislature and approved 


by the King and Council, with power to confer degrees. 
One of these was at Edenton, the other at New Bern. 

There were classical schools of more or less extended 
curriculum in many of the Presbyterian congregations 
and at other points in the country and in some of the 

This school at Charlotte town was in the bounds of 
the Sugar (Sugaw) Creek congregation, and seems 
to have been one of the oldest and the most important 
in the Province. It was established at an early date 
and flourished under Rev. Joseph Alexander, who suc- 
ceeded Kev. Alex. Craighead in 1766 as pastor of Sugar 
Creek church. January 15th, 1771, the Colonial Legis- 
lature granted it a charter empowering it to confer the 
degrees of A. B. and A. M. upon its graduates. The 
act was approved by the Royal Governor and the Crown 
attorney, and forwarded to the King for his action. 
There are two errors in the histories that I have seen 
as to this charter. They assert : 

1. That its president was not required to be of the 
Established Church. 

2. That it received no State aid. 

(1) One section of the charter is as follows: "And 
provided further, that no person shall be permitted to 
be president of the said college but who is of the Estab- 
lished Church, and who upon being nominated and 
appointed by the Fellows and Trustees as aforesaid, or 
the majority of tJiem, shall be duly licensed by t'.e 
Governor or Commander-in-Chief for the time being." 

(2) Another as follows: "And the said Fellows and 
Trustr^es being desirous that some certain revenue be 
raised for founding, establishing and endowing the said 


college : Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
a duty of six pence per gallon on all rum or other spir- 
ituous liquors brought into and disposed of in JMeck- 
lenburg County be paid for and during the space of ten 
years from and after the passing of this act by the own- 
ers and carriers thereof for and towards the raising the 
sum for purposes aforesaid, which duties shall be col- 
lected and accounted for and paid to the treasurer of 
the said college in the same manner and under the same 
penalties and restrictions as other duties on spirituous 
liquors are now paid and collected by law." 

The notorious Edmund Fanning is named first in 
the list of trustees, and was the first president of the 

Foote in his Sketches of North Carolina says that 
Fanning offered to get a charter if they would make 
him Chancellor of the institution, but this was refused. 
I think he is mistaken as to the refusal. Fanning left 
North Carolina and went to New York with Governor 
Tryon in the summer of 1771. The next session of the 
Legislature in December, 1771, amended the charter 
so that degrees could be conferred in the absence of the 
president, "who is now out of the Province." The 
charter required all diplomas to be signed by the presi- 
dent. Fanning, while a citizen of North Carolina, re- 
sided in Orange County, more than a hundred miles 
from Charlotte ; he could have had but little to do with 
the operations of the school ; it must have been admin- 
istered by the professors and tutors, who were all Pres- 
byterians, and hence the law as to control by the Church 
of England was evaded. 

Governor Tryon forwarded the charter, with other 


acts of the Legislature, to the King for his approval 
in March, 1771. The Board for the Government of the 
Province made the following report upon this act to 
His Majesty: 

"The Second of these Acts Is for the Institution and Indowment 
of a College, and Mr. Jackson, to whom it was referred, has reported 
no objection thereto in point of Law. Mr. Tryon, Your Majesty's 
Governor of North Carolina, in his letter of the 12th of March, 1771, 
observes upon this Law "that it is but the Outline of a foundation 
for the education of youth, that the necessity for such an institu- 
tion in that Country is obvious, and the propriety of the mode 
therein adopted must be submitted to Your Majesty; that although 
the President is to be of the Established Church and licensed by the 
Governor, yet the Fellows, Trustees and Tutors, he apprehends, 
will be generally Presbyterians, the College being promoted by a 
respectable Settlement of that persuasion, from which a consider- 
able body marched to Hillsborough in Sept., 1768, in support of 

"Prom this Report of Your Majesty's Governor and from the prev- 
alency of the Presbyterian persuasion within the County of Mecklen- 
burg, we may venture to conclude, that this College, it allowed to 
be incorporated, will, in effect, operate as a Seminary for the edu- 
cation and Instruction of youth in the Principles of the Presbyterian 
Church. Sensible as we are of the wisdom of that tolerating Spirit 
which generally prevails throughout Your Majesty's Dominions, 
and disposed as we particularly are in the Case before us, to recom- 
mend to every reasonable Mark of favour and protection a Body of 
Subjects who, by the Governor's Report, have behaved with such 
loyalty and zeal during the late Troubles & disorders, still we think 
it our duty to submit to Your Majesty, whether it may be advisable 
for Your Majesty to add Incouragement to toleration by giving the 
Royal Assent to an Establishment which in Its consequences prom- 
ises great and permanent Advantages to a sect of Dissenters from 
the Established Church who have already extended themselves over 
that Province in very considerable numbers. 

"By this Act a Duty of Six pence per Gallon is laid on all Rum 
and other spirituous Liquors brought into and disposed of in Meck- 
lenburg County, as a Fund for raising Revenue for support of the 
Institution; In what manner this clause may operate as a Tax upon 
the consumption of British Spirits, or from' the looseness of its 


wording how far It may be strained to exempt Spirits manufact- 
ured -within this County from the duty imposed, we can not pretend 
to foresee; but it would seem that a Foundation proressedly for Gen- 
eral uses ought not in regularity to he supported by a Tax partially 
imposed upon any one County in particular. But when to the above 
observations we add that this Law is not accompanied by a Clause 
of ■suspension,'' though it clearly comes under the description of 
those Acts, which by Your Majesty's Instructions are directed to be 
so passed, as being of an unusual and extraordinary nature & im- 
portance, and persuaded as we are of what consequence it is on all 
occasions to enforce this Your Majesty's Institutions, we do not hesi- 
tate humbly to recommend to Your Majesty to signify your Royal 
disallowance of this Act." 

The Act was disallowed by the King, April, 1772. In 
1771 Josiah Martin, the Eoyal Governor, submitted an 
amendment, with other acts of the Legislature, to the 
King, as follows : 

Amendment to Chapteb Enacted December, 1771. 

"9th. An act to amend an Act intituled an Act for founding, 
establishing and endowing of Queen's College in the Town of Char- 
lotte in Mecklenburg County. 

"The design of this Act being to invest the Trustees and Fellows 
with the pov/ers of Graduation during the absence of the President, 
who is now out of the Province, without which the Institution would 
be im'perfect, I thought it proper to assent thereto." 

No diplomas could be granted, since the President 
(Edmund Fanning) was absent from the State. 

The King disallowed the amendment, and Governor 
Martin issued the proclamation which appears below: 

"North Carolina — ss. 

"By His Excellency Josiah Martin, Esquire, Captain-General, Gov- 
ernor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the said Province. 

"A Proclamation. 

"Whereas, His Majesty hath been pleased by His Royal Order in 
Council bearing date at St. James the Seventh day of April, 1773, 

*This clause w.'iR a.s follows: "Provided, tbat, the execution of thi.-s act be sus- 
pended, till Ms Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure be known thereupon ." 


to declare His Royal Disallowance of an Act passed In the General 
Assembly of this Province In December, 1771, intituled 'An Act 
to amend an Act intituled an Act for Founding, Establishing and 
endowing of Queen's College, in the Town of Charlotte, in Mecklen- 
burg County,' I do, in pursuance of His Majesty's Royal Commands, 
issue this Proclamation, hereby declaring the said Act Disallowed, 
Void, and of none effect, whereof all persons are required to take 
notice and govern themselves accordingly. 

"Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of the said Province at 
New Bern, the 28th day of June, A. Dom. 1773, in the 13th year of 
His Majesty's Reign. 

"God save the King. Jo. Martin." 

In April, 1777, the first Legislature of the State of 
North Carolina incorporated the institution under the 
name of Liberty Hall, but referred in the act to its for- 
mer existence and usefulness. Its operation was much 
disturbed during the Eevolutionary War, and the build 
ing was used as a hospital both by the American and 
British armies. After the Eevolutionary War, the Pres- 
byterians transferred the college to Winnsboro, S. C. 




George Graham, second son of James and Mary Gra- 
ham, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, De- 
cember 5, 1757. He came to Mecklenburg County with 
his mother and family when he was about ten years old. 
His education was such as was common to the youth of 
that period, which was about the time the college in 
Charlotte (Queen's Museum) was at its zenith. Al- 
though he was not educated in that institution, yet it 
created a kind of literary atmosphere, and by mixing 
with its students he acquired a taste for reading, 
whereby his mind became improved beyond many whose 
opportunities were superior. 

The first public meetings in Charlotte at the begin- 
ning of the Revolutionary War he attended, and al- 
though too young to be a counselor, he read with 
solicitude the public prints and many manuscripts of 
their proceedings, which it is to be regretted were not 
preserved to the present day. He attended the memora- 
ble meeting of the Committee on May 20, 1775, which de- 
clared independence. An official copy of this declara- 
tion was sent to Congress by Capt. Jamesi Jack. When 
Captain Jack on his way to Philadelphia halted in Salis- 
bury for refreshment, his destination and the object of 
his trip becoming known, a Mr. Boote and; John Dunn, 
lawyers, the first of note and both remembered, threat- 
ened to have Jack taken up for treason, and actually 
tried to influence the authorities to have him arrested. 
Captain Jack drew his pistols, threatened to shoot the 


first man who dared to interrupt him, and passed on. 
The news of this proceeding reached Mecklenburg; the 
committee convened and ordered twelve horsemen to 
Salisbury to bring these parties before them to answer 
for their conduct. George Graham was one of the twelvt- 
sent. The horsemen, agreeable to tlieir orders, brought 
the lawyers, on August 1, 1775, after an all-night 
ride. The committee found them guilty of "conduct 
inimical to the cause of American freedom," and 
sent them to Camden, S. C. ; there they were sent before 
the Congress of South Carolina, which sent them to 
Charleston for imprisonment, where they remained for 
several years, and then went to Florida. 

George Graham was of the party which took them to 
Camden. This was the first military duty performed by 
the Mecklenburg militia in the Kevolutionary War, and 
is believed to be the first by any troops in the South. In 
the autumn of 1775, he, under the command of General 
Rutherford, served in the campaign against the Chero- 
kee Indians. When in the Nation he was one of the 
party selected to pursue Scott and Hicks, two British 
traders, who, it was believed, had instigated the Indians 
to war. The detachment overtook them at what was 
then called the Over Hill Towns, on Hiawassee River, 
and brought them back as prisoners. 


Shortly after his return from the Cherokee campaign, 
another force was raised to go against the Scotch near 
Cross Creek, now Payetteville, who were raising men 
for Britain. George Graham was a member of this ex- 
pedition. Tliey went as far as Cross Creek, where, 


learning of the defeat of the Scotch at Moore's Creek 
Bridge by Colonel Caswell, and that the Tories were 
dispersed, they returned home. By order of the Meck- 
lenburg committee, he was twice after this sent out as 
one of a detachment into Tryon County to overawe and 
suppress Toryism. 

He held commissions, which were by appointment of 
the Governor, for one year each, in the Mecklenburg or- 
ganization of State militia almost during the entire 
period of the Revolutionary War. He states that five of 
them were dated on his birthday, the 5th of December. 

His commission in the South Carolina troops was 
dated April, 1781. It having been lost, a new one was 
issued, dated December 5, 1781. 

Early in 1780 he served in a campaign as lieutenant 
under Major Sharp, later of Tennesseee, who was his 
Captain. They assisted in making the entrenchments 
and placing abbatis at Charleston before it was besieged. 
By service with the regular soldiers at this point he be- 
came well versed in military tactics and the duties of an 
officer in active service. Their term of service having 
expired, his command was relieved by another detach- 
ment of militia only two days before the town was 
closely invested by the British. The troops who re- 
lieved him were captured when the town was taken. 
After Buford's defeat, Mecklenburg County was the 
"frontier," and her militia almost continually under 
arms. He was a lieutenant in this force, and present 
at every call to service; v/as with General Rutherford 
when he marched to Ramsour's Still. On the 6th of 
August, 1780, he, as a lieutenant in the company of 
Capt. James Knox, participated in the battle of Hang- 


ing Eock. A ball passed through his coat on the top of 
the left shoulder and another between the barrel and 
ramrod of his rifle, near the thimble, next the lock. A 
party of fifteen or twenty of the enemy took shelter in a 
cabin with a clapboard door and began firing through 
the cracks. Captain Knox, with half the men, charged 
the front door. Lieutenant Graham with the rest charged 
the rear door. Captain Knox ran against and broke 
down the door, the enemy fled out of the rear door, and 
Graham's party shot down several of them. Capt. David 
Eeid, of Steele Creek, and seven others, were killed 
and fifteen wounded. After Captain Eeid's death, Lieu- 
tenant Graham commanded his company during the 
action. He commanded a detachment of infantry that 
accompanied Colonel Davie's cavalry in the attack on a 
party of Tories at Wahab's (now Walkup's) plantation 
at Waxhaw, September, 1780. The infantry was sent 
through a corn field, when firing on the Tories; the 
Tories fled out of the mouth of a lane towards the Brit- 
ish camp, in the vicinity of which they were met by the 
cavalry and defeated. When the British army entered 
Charlotte, September 26, 1780, Lieutenant Graham re- 
treated with General Davidson's army to Phifer's, be- 
yond Eocky Eiver, and now in Cabarrus County. The 
enemy not advancing, but showing a disposition to re- 
main in Charlotte for some time, Capt. James Thompson 
and Lieut. George Graham, by permission of General 
Davidson, returned to their homes and collected a party 
of fourteen men, and on the 3d of October defeated Major 
Doyle, who commanded a foraging party of upwards of 
five hundred, at Mclntyre's, on the Seattle's Ford road, 
seven miles from Charlotte. While Lord Cornwallis 


remained in Charlotte, they continued in the thickets 
about Long Creek and the heads of Sugar and Pav/ 
Creeks and procured rations at night. They made ar- 
rangements with the women who resided on the roads 
leading north and west from Charlotte, to give them 
notice by flags or other signals of any parties that should 
pass out, but the enemy sent no foraging parties in that 
direction after the affair at Mclntyre's. Major Stead- 
man, the Commissary General of Lord Cornwallis, in his 
history, refers to the attention that this command paid 
to his forces. He says that the men of this country, in- 
stead of remaining at home to receive pay for such pro- 
visions as he might wish to purchase for the army, were 
organized in predatory bands, attacking the trains sent 
out to procure supplies. There is an account of the 
affair at Mclntyre's Branch, and also of the battle of 
Hanging Rock, in Part II of this book. 

George Graham was present as a volunteer in his 
brother's company of cavalry at the battle of Cowan's 
Ford, February 1, 1781. In the spring of that 
year he was Adjutant of one of the regiments 
called "State Troops" (Colonel Polk), raised by 
South Carolina in Mecklenburg County for a term of 
ten months, and belonging to the command of General 
Sumter. In this service he was in several skirmishes 
with both British and Tories; was at the taking of 
Orangeburg and with the State troops and Washington's 
cavalry when they were detached to thvrart Lord Eaw- 
don's efforts to relieve Ninety-six, and which when Gen- 
eral Greene retired, covered his retreat. Some time after 
this, owing to hard service and a warm climate, he con- 
tracted fever, obtained a leave of absence, and with diffi- 


culty reached home. He did not recover in time to 
rejoin his regiment until two months before his term of 
service expired. 

After the close of the Revolutionary War he was fre- 
quently in the militia service of the State, and passed 
through all the grades from Major to Major-General. 


He succeeded his brother Joseph as Sheriff of Meck- 
lenburg County in 1786, and was annually continued in 
said office until 1792. 

The following is a copy of his commission as Sheriff 
in 1786 : 

The State of North Carolina, 

To George Graham, Esq. — Greeting: 

Out of the Assurance we have of your fidelity, integrity and ahil- 
ities WE DO by these Presents nominate constitute and appoint you 
the said George Graham to be Sheriff of Mecklenburg County for 
one year from the nomination of the said County Court in June 
last. To have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy the said office of 
Sheriff together with all powers and authorities, fees, privileges and 
emoluments which to the said office of sheriff doth or may of right 
belong or apertain. 

Witness RICHARD CASWELL, Esq., our Governor, Captain-Gen- 
eral and Commander-in-Chief, under his Hand, and the Great Seal 
of the State, which he has caused to be hereunto affixed at Fayette- 
ville the ninth day of December Anno Dom. 1786 and in the Xlth 
year of our Independence. R. C. Caswell. 

By His Excellency's Command 
W. Caswell, P. S, (Private Secretary.) 

Received of Joseph Graham Eighteen Shillings & Eight pence fees 
of this Commission. Winston Caswell. 

On retiring as Sheriff in 1792, he entered for collec- 
tion all arrearages in taxes, executions, etc., in a book, 
which he used, as .shown by dates therein, until 1794. 



Mecklenburg then embraced also what is now Cabar- 
rus County till 1793, and a part of Union County till 
1812. It contained eighteen captain's beats or districts, 
outside of Charlotte District. The boundaries of these 
districts were arranged by a court-martial composed of 
officers of the militia selected from the regiments or bat- 
talions in the county. 

In 1792 the districts and commanders were as follows : 
Charlotte, Captain Isaac Cook; 2 Thos. Alexander, 3 
David Caldwell, 4 James Porter, 5 James Tagert, 6 
John Long, 7 Archd. Cathey, 8 Samuel Pickens, 9 Paul 
Phifer, 10 Jos. Shinn, 11 Jacob Stough, 12 John Mel- 
chor, 13 Wm. McAnulty, 14 James Harris, 15 Chas. T. 
Alexander, 16 Tunis Hood, 17 Robert Porter, 18 John 
Simeson, 19 James Osborne. I also find the name of 
William Hutcheson, captain in the Charlotte District, 
which I suppose completed the twenty companies or 
two regiments of militia. 

From credits allowed on settlement in this book we 

find the prices of articles to have been at that time as 

follows : 

Wool hat 13 shillings, 
Whiskey 5 to 6 shillings per gallon; 
Oats 1 shilling per bushel 

Wheat 5 to 6 shillings per bushel; 
Corn 3 

Flour 3 

English shovel 16 

Salt 80 

Deer Skin 13 

Nails 3 

Pr. Shoes 10 

Pr. overhalls 15 




Cloth for breeches 




Knee buckles 



Linen per yard 



Pr. stockings 



Pocket knife 



Flax Wheel 



Check reel 


Bear skin 


Iron per lb. 


1 cotton wheel 


1 set wea.vers spool 



Making a pair of boots and furnishing sole leatJier 1£ 16s 


The taxes on the poll in 1790 were 

state 3s 

County Is 6d 

Poor Is 
District 6d 

Total 6s 

A hard (Spanish) dollar was valued at eight shil- 
lings currency. There seems to have been no gold coin ; 
gold was received by weight, and was probably unre- 
fined. Twelve hundred and sixty Continental dollars 
were valued at 1£ 5s. 9d. 

The court-house seems to have been repaired and the 
jail built in 1790, for which we find the following ac- 
count : 

Ger. Thomas PotK: Cb. 

By repairing Court House and Building jail and lot it is on. 154 £ 

Graham was elected to the House of Commons of the 
State Legislature in 1792-3-4; to the State Senate in 
171;;;, 1803 to I8I2. These elections were held annually 
prior to 1836. 

WAR OF 1812-1814, 

The following correspondence, copied from the files 
in the Executive Office, Raleigh, N. C, refer to his 
career at this period : 

1. General Graham Oi-fees His Services. 

Charlotte, N. C, 21st August, 1813. 
Sir: — As there appears no doubt but it will be necessary to em'ploy 
a military force to suppress what is called the War Party of tie 
Creek Indians: in behalf of myself and a number of citizens of Meck- 
lenburg County, I say to the number of 150 or 200, do hereby tender 


our voluntary services whenever your Excellency will sanction and 
direct us to proceed on the expedition. 
I am Sir with high regard. 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

Geo. Graham, 
Maj. &enl. J/tJi Division N. G. Militia. 
To His Excellency, 

WirxiAM Hawkins. 

2. The Governor's Reply. 

Executive Office, N. C, 
Raleigh, 16th Oct., 1813. 

Sir: — Your letter communicating the voluntary tender of service 
on your part and in behalf of a number of citizens of Mecklenburg 
County to aid in suppressing the hostile Creek Indians; I had the 
pleasure to receive a few days ago on my arrival in this city after 
a short absence. 

It is highly gratifying to me to have it in my power to communi- 
cate to the President of the United States the offer of services of a 
military association headed by a distinguished Revolutionary patriot 
and composed of the citizens of that county in our State which in 
the great contest for the liberty and independence of the United 
States not only stood foreru'ost but which on some occasions ex- 
hibited on duty one solid phalanx of practical patriots. 

I am fully persuaded that the General Government will authorize 
the acceptance of your services. 

I take the liberty to suggest to you the propriety of immediately 
enrolling yourselves and transmitting a copy of that enrollment to 
me. I shall without delay communicate your tender to the Presi- 
dent whose answer shall be forwarded to you as soon as it Is re- 
ceived. Permit me to offer to you and through you to those brave 
citizens with whom you are associated an assurance of the high 
consideration and respect with which I have the honor to be 

Your most obedient servant, William Hawkins. 

To Gen. Geo. Geaham. 


3. Reply of the United States Wab Department. 

War Office, Nov. 5, 1813. 
His Excellency Wm. Hawkins. 

Sib: — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excel- 
lency's letter of Oct. 21st addressed to the Secretary of War. 

The detachments which have been made from the militia of Geor- 
gia and Tennessee for that purpose I deeia sufficient to co-operate 
with regular troops in chastising the hostile Creek Indians. 
With great respect I have the honor to he. 
Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

Danibx Parker, 
To His Excellency Chief Cleric. 

Wm. Hawkins. 

4. Gov. Hawkin's Letter, Enclosins Reply op War Office. 

Executive Office, N. C, 

Raleigh, 25 Dec, 1813. 
Sib: — I have the honor to transmit to you the enclosed copy of a 
letter from the War Office from which you will learn that no neces- 
sity existed for the services of yourself and those patriotic citizens 
who volunteered under you to aid in suppressing the hostile Creek 
I am very respectfully. Sir, 

Your obedient servant, William Hawkins. 

To Major General George Graham. 

It will be noticed in the history of Gen. Joseph Gra- 
ham relative to this period, that in less than sixty days 
subsequent to this the President made a requisition 
upon the States of North and South Carolina each for 
a regiment of detached militia, which regiments com- 
posed the brigade commanded by General Graham. 

In 1816 he was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court 
of Mecklenburg County, which position he held until 
1825, when he resigned on account of ill health. At 
this time the term of the office of Clerk was for life or 
go^'il behavior. 


He married Fannie Cathey, daughter of George Oa- 
they, who bore him the following children : 

John, who died unmarried in 1826. 

George Maurice, who died in youth. 

Elizabeth, who married William M. Bostwick. 

Polly, who married George Caruth. 

Jennie, who married William E. McRee. 

Frances, who died in infancy 

Mrs. Graham died in 1793, and he afterwards mar- 
ried Mrs. Lydia Potts, widow of William Potts. They 
had no children. 

He died March 29, 1826, and is buried near the gate 
in the old Presbyterian Cemetery in Charlotte. Near 
him lie his son-in-law, George Caruth, and his brother 
Joseph's daughter, Mrs. Sophia Witherspoon. 



1. Prior to thb Revolutionary War. 

2. Services in the Revolutionary War. 

3. Subsequent to the Revolutionary War. 

4. Subsequent to the Revolution. 

5. Manufacture of Iron in Lincoln County. 

6. War of 18 12-' 14. 

7. Civil and Personal History in Lincoln County. 

8. Children and Grand-children. 


Joseph Graham, youngest son of James Graham, was 
born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, October 13, 
1759. He came, when about seven years of age, with 
his mother to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. 
He assisted in cultivating his mother's farm, and at- 
tended school in Charlotte. He wasi distinguished 
among his fellow students for talents, industry and the 
most manly and conciliating deportment. His thirst 
for knowledge led him at an early period to become well 
acquainted with all those interesting events which pre- 
ceded and prepared for our Revolutionary struggle. At 
the age of fifteen years, while a student at Queen's Mu- 
seum, he was present in Charlotte on the 20th of May, 
1775, when the celebrated Declaration of Independence 
was formally made and published. The deep impres- 
sions made upon his mind by the solemn and momen- 
tous decisions of that day gave good evidence that he 
was then preparing for the noble stand which he took 
during the war. He prepared for J. Seawell Jones the 
following account of the proceedings of that notable 
convention and attendant circumstances, which Mr. 


Jones published in his book, "The Defence of North 
Carolina" : 

Vesuvius Furnace, 4tli October, 1830. 

Deae Sir: — Agreeably to your request, I will give you the details 
of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence ,on the 20tli of 
May, 1775, as well as I can recollect after a lapse of fifty-five years. 
I was then a lad about half grown, was present on that occasion (a 

During the Winter and Spring preceding that event, several popu- 
lar meetings of the people were held in Charlotte; two of which I 
attended. Papers were read, grievances stated, and public meas- 
ures discussed. As printing was not then common in the South, 
the papers were mostly manuscript; one or more of which was from 
the pen of the Reverend Doctor Reese, (then of Mecklenburg), 
which m'et with general approbation, and copies of it circulated. 
It is to be regretted that those and other papers published at that 
period, and the journal of their proceedings, are lost. They would 
show much of the spirit and tone of thinking which prepared them' 
for the measures they afterwards adopted. 

On the 20tti of May, 1775, besides the two persons elected from 
«ach militia company, (usually called Committee-men,) a much 
larger number of citizens attended In Charlotte than at any former 
meeting — perhaps half the men in the county. The news of the 
battle of Lexington, the 19th of April preceding, had arrived. There 
appeared among the people much excitem'ent. The committee were 
organized in the Court-house by appointing Abraham Alexander, 
Esq., Chairman, and John McKnitt Alexander, Esq., Clerk or Sec- 
retary to the meeting. 

After reading a number of papers as usual, and much animated 
discussion, the question was taken, and they resolved to declare 
themselves independent. One among other reasons offered, that 
the King or Ministry had, by proclamation or other edict, declared 
the Colonies out of the protection of the British Crown; they ought 
therefore, to declare themselves out of his protection, and resolve 
on independence. That their proceedings might be in due form, 
a sub-committee, consisting of Dr. Ephraim' Brevard, a Mr. Kennon, 
an attorney, and a third person, whom I do not recollect, were ap- 
pointed to draft their Declaration. They retired from the Court- 
house for some time; but the committee continued in session in it 
One circumstance occurred I distinctly remember; A member ol 


the committee, who had said but little hefore, addressed the Chair- 
man as follows: "If you resolve on independence, how shall we all 
be absolved from' the obligations of the oath we took to be true to 
King George the 3rd about four years ago,* after the Regulation 
battle, when we were sworn whole militia companies together. I 
should be glad to know how gentlemen can clear their consciences 
after taking that oath." This speech produced confusion. The 
Chairman could scarcely preserve order, so many wished to reply. 
There appeared great indignation and contempt at the speech of 
the member. Some said it was nonsense; others that allegiance 
and protection were reciprocal; when protection was withdrawn, 
allegiance ceased; that the oath was only binding while the King 
protected us in the enjoyment of our rights and liberties as they 
existed at the time it was taken; which he had not done, but now 
declared us out of his protection; therefore was not binding. Any 
man who would interpret it otherwise, was a fool. By way of illus- 
tration, one speaker (pointing to a green tree near the court-house) 
stated, if he was sworn to do any thing as long as the leaves con- 
tinued on that tree, it was so long binding; but when the leaves fell, 
he was discharged from its obligation. This was said to he certainly 
applicable in the present case. Out of respect for a worthy citizen, 
long since deceased, and his respectable connections, I forbear to 
mention names; for though he was a friend to the cause, a sus- 
picion rested on him in the public mind for some time after. 

The sub-committee appointed to draft resolutions returned and 
Doctor Ephraim Brevard read their report, as near as I can recol- 
lect, in the very words we have since seen them several times in 
print. It was unanimously adopted, and shortly after it was moved 
and seconded to have proclamation made and the people collected, 
that the proceedings be read at the Court-house door, in order that 
all might hear them. It was done, and they were received with 
enthusiasm. It was then proposed by some one aloud to give three 
Cheers and throw up their hats. It was imm'ediately adopted, and 
the hats thrown. Several of them lit on the Court-house roof. 
The owners had som'e difficulty to reclaim them. 

The foregoing is all from personal knowledge. I understood 
afterwards that Captain James Jack, then of Charlotte, undertook, 
on the request of the committee, to carry a copy of their proceed- 
ings to Congress, which then sat in Philadelphia; and on his way 
at Salisbury, the time of court, Mr. Kennon, who was one of the 
committee who assisted in drawing the Declaration, prevailed on 


Capt. Jack to get Ws papers, and have them read publicly; which 
was done and the proceedings met with general approhation. But 
two of the lawyers, John Dunn and a Mr. Booth, dissented, and 
asserted they were treasonable, and endeavored to have Captain 
Jack detained. He drew his pistols, and threatened to kill the 
first man who would interrupt him, and passed on. The news of 
this reached Charlotte in a short time after, and the executive 
powers, ordered a party of ten or twelve armed men to bring said 
Lawyers from Salisbury;* when they were brought, and the case 
Investigated before the committee. Dunn, on giving security and 
making fair promises, was permitted to return, and Booth was 
sentenced to go to Camden, in South Carolina, out of the sphere of 
his influence. My brother George Graham and the late Col. John 
Carruth were of the party that went to Salisbury and it is dis- 
tinctly remembered that when in Charlotte they cam'e home at 
night, in order to provide for their trip to Camden; and that they 
and two others of the party took Booth to that place. This was the 
first military expedition from Mecklenburg in the Revolutionary 
War, and believed to be the first any where to the South. 

Yours respectfully, J. Graham. 

De. Jos. McKt. Alexander, Mecklenburg, N. Carolina. 

The first discovery of evidence of tlie publication of 
tlie proceedings of the Mecklenburg meeting in May, 
1775, was by General Graham in 1816 or '17, among the 
valuable papers of an old German neighbor, whose will 
he was requested to write. 

It Avas a contemporary newspaper containing the 
proclamation of the Royal Governor Martin, August 8, 
1775, denouncing a set of resolutions purporting to be a 
Declaration of Independence by Mecklenburg County 
which he had seen printed in the Gape Fear ]\[erGury. 
Governor Martin sent this newspaper to the Colonial 
Secretary, June 30, 1775. June 20, 1775, Governor 

* After the battle of Alamance in May 1771, Gov. Tryon sent Hugh Waddell 
with a military force through Mecklenburg, Tryon and the western part of Rowan 
county : the mllilia were ordered to a-ssemhle at appointed places and take the 
oath of allegiance to King George, Ramsnur's Mill in Tryon county wasoneotthe 
places of assembly. 


James Wright, of Greorgia, sent him the South Carolina 
Gazette and County Journal of June, 1775, No. 498, con- 
taining the resolves of the Mecklenburg committee. 
These resolves were published at the same time, June 13, 
1775, in Timothy's Carolina Gazette, and subsequently 
in the Neio York Journal and the Massachusetts Spy. 
General Graham's discovery is the only known copy of 
Governor Martin's proclamation. With it was found 
his proclamation issued at Charlotte, October 3, 1780, 
and published in Part II. 

[Martin's History, Vol. 2, Page S73.] 

Resolved. — That who'soever directly or indirectly abets or in any 
way, form or manner countenances the invasion of our rights, as 
attempted by the Parliament of Great Britain, Is an enemy to his 
country, to Am'erica, and the rights of men. 

Resolved — That we the citizens of Mecklenburg county do hereby 
dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the 
mother country, and absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the 
British crown, abjuring all political connection with a nation that 
has wantonly trampled on our rights and liberties and inhumanly 
shed the innocent blood of Americans at Lexington. 

Resolved. — That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and Inde- 
pendent people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self- 
governing people, under the power of Giod and the General Con- 
gress; to the maintenance of which independence, we solemnly 
pledge to each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our for- 
tunes, and our most sacred honor. 

Resolved. — That we hereby ordain and adopt as rules of conduct, 
all and each of our former laws, and the crown of Great Britain 
cannot be considered hereafter as holding any rights, privileges or 
immunities amongst us. 

Resolved. — That all oflBcers, both civil and military, in this county, 
be entitled to exercise the same powers and authorities as heretofore: 
that every member of this delegation shall henceforth be a civil offi- 
cer and exercise the p.owers of a Justice of the peace, issue procesa, 
hear and determine controversies according to law, preserve peace, 

ro - 

-1 o 


Tinion and harmony, in the county, and use every exertion to spread 
the love of liberty and of country, until a more general, and better 
organized system of Government be established. 

Resolved. — That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by ex- 
press to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Phil- 

Abraham AlExandek, Chairman. 

John McKnitt Alexander, Secretary. 
Bphraim Brevard, Adam Alexander, HEZEKLiH Alexander, 

Zacchbus Wilson, Charles Alexander, Hezekiah J. Balch, 
James Harris, John Phifer, Waigiitstill Avert. 

Matthew McCluee, Benjamin Patton, William Kennon, 
Richard Barey, John Ford, Neil Morrison, 

John Flennegin, Robert Irwin, Henry Downe, 

WnxiAM Graham, Ezra Alexander, David Reese, 

Richard Harris, John Davidson, John Queary, 

Thomas Polk, sen'r. 

[From the Miners' and Farmers' Journal, Charlotte, N. C, May 22, 1835.] 


The Streets of Charlotte were thronged throughout the day with a 
dense crowd of people from all the surrounding country to witness 
the imposing spectacle of the first grand celebration of our own in- 
dependence. The feeling and enthusiasm of the whole multitude was 
beyond anything we ever witnessed. The Revolutionary soldiers — 
with their satin badges marked '75 Instead of '76 — the great men of 
our State and a numerous concourse of strangers from South Caro- 
lina and the more distant counties of our own State, were present 
and joined in the celebration. The day was unusually splendid. 

The immense military parade under the command ,of Gen. Polk 
opened the ceremonies of the day. His Excellency, the Governor, 
was present and reviewed the troops. At 12 o'clock the military 
passed through the streets, and the procession formed and joined in 
opposite Dr. Boyd's Hotel. Thence they proceeded to the church 
grove where arrangements had been made for the delivery of the 
oration and the reading of the Mecklenburg Declaration. The stand 
from which the oration was delivered was wreathed all around with 

fl gj.g a, decoration for which we were indebted to the taste of the 

young ladies of Charlotte. The grove was crowded all around 
further than the human voice could reach — and it is no exaggeration 


to say there were five thousand -within hearing of the stand. [Bear 
in m'ind that Charlotte was still a village and without railroad trans- 

At precisely half past one the Rev. Mr. Armstrong opened with 
a prayer; and then followed Mr. Osborne ,the reader of the Decla- 
ration, who prefaced his talk with a few eloquent and pertinent re- 
marks. He then read the Declaration and gave out the names of 
the signers in a loud and impressive voice. Then followed the 
orator, Franklin Smith, Esq. He gave a succinct and eloquent ac- 
count of the aggressions of the mother country upon the rights of 
the colonies, and then came down to the period of the Declaration. 
He sketched the character of the Mecklenburg Convention, and in a 
strain of feeling eloquence, commemorated the virtues of the heroes 
of the 20th of May. 1775. 

Then came the dinner. Upwards of 600 persons sat down to the 
table, prepared by Doctor Boyd, in a grove fronting the house of 
Doctor Caldwell. The greatest good feeling prevailed, and merri- 
ment and social cheer went brisk around. The toasts announced 
as the toasts of the day were arranged by the committee consisting 
of Mr. Davidson, Dr. Dunlap, Wm. J. Alexander and Franklin Smith, 
Esqrs. Mr. Senator Mangum, Governor Swain and others spoke at 
length upon the politics of the day. Gen. Graham gave an interest- 
ing historical sketch by way of response to the sentiment [our hon- 
ored guest] in com'pliment to him. The whole day went off joy- 
ously well. 

In the evening there was a splendid ball. The room was crowded 
with ladies, gaily attired, who seemed to enjoy the celebration as 
much as the youth of the country. The supper taMe was beauti- 
fully arranged and the large centre Cafce was gilded with the in- 
scription — The 20th of May, 1775. Charlotte has not seen such a 
day for 60 years. 

In our hurry to go to press we are obliged to omit the Toasts and 
the letters from invited guests, who could not attend, and a more 
particular account and notice of the proceedings of the day. 

In May, 1778, at the age of 18 years, Graham enlisted 
as a private in Captain Gooden's company, 4th Regt. 
N. C. Line, Col. Archibald Lytle. The regiment ren- 


dezvoused in Caswell County. He was appointed Quar- 
ter-Master Sergeant. There being no immediate call 
for its services, he, with others, took a furlough until 
fall. From November 5, 1778, to August, 1779, he 
served under Generals Rutherford and Sumner in the 
campaign in the vicinity of Charleston, S. C. His com- 
pany was transferred to a regiment of light infantry 
commanded by Colonel Malmedy. The Quartermaster 
dying in December, 1778, he performed the duties of the 
position for the remainder of the campaign. The quar- 
termaster then performed the duties of both commissary 
and quartermaster as now administered. 

Those who participated in this campaign were to be 
exempt from service for three years. Notwithstanding 
this exemption, in May, 1780, having learned while 
plowing in his mother's field of the threatened advance 
of the British army, he repaired to Charlotte and volun- 
teered his services. He was appointed Adjutant of the 
regiment of Mecklenburg militia then ordered on duty, 
and served with these troops in opposing the British 
under Lord Rawdon. In September he was appointed 
captain of a company of mounted infantry in the com- 
mand of Col. W. R. Davie, and was severely wounded 
near Charlotte, September 26. He continued in ser- 
vice until March 1781. In August, 1781, he enlisted a 
company of dragoons, which were assigned to the bat- 
talion of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, of which he was 
appointed Major, October, 1781, and served on the Cape 
Fear and near Wilmington until November of that year, 
when his services terminated. 

He had participated in the following engagements, 
viz. : Skirmish with McGirt, who preceded Tarleton in 
the command of the British cavalry, and the Battle of 


Stono, in the Cliarleston campaign, 1778-9; Rocky 
Mount and Hanging Eock, in opposing the forces of 
Lord Eawdon, Charlotte and Cross-Roads, 1780; Cow- 
an's Ford, Shallow Ford, Hart's Mill, Pyle's Massacre, 
Clapp's Mill, skirmish near Hawkins' farm and Whit- 
sell's Mill, spring of 1781 ; McFall's Mill, Raft Swamp, 
Moore's plantation. Brick House opposite Wilmington, 
and Seven Creeks, Brunswick County, N. C, in the 
fall of 1781. 

He was just twenty-two years of age at the close of 
his active services in the Revolutionary War. He en- 
tered the army as a private, passed through the grades 
of Orderly Sergeant, Quartermaster Sergeant, Quarter- 
master, Adjutant, Captain, and retired with the rank 
of Major. He never held commission in the regular 
militia organization of the State. His services were all 
of a volunteer nature; his commands being formed of 
men subject to militia duty, but organized for extraor- 
dinary service; exemption from service for a specified 
time in the regular militia force being promised for 
service on these occasions. He never availed himself of 
these exemptions, but promptly tendered his services on 
every needed occasion. His commanding ofl&cers from 
whom he received all his appointments always had some 
special work to assign him. Upon the appearance of 
the enemy in his vicinity, regardless of exemptions or 
the calls of private business, he promptly reported for 
duty in any service that might be committed to him. 

This closed his services in the Revolutionary War. 
He commanded in fifteen engagements with wisdom, 
calmness, courage and success to a degree perhaps sur- 
passed by no other officer of the same rank. Hundreds 


who served under his command have testified to the 
upright, faithful, prudent and undaunted manner in 
which he discharged the duties of his responsible sta- 
tions. Never was he known to shrink from any toil, 
however painful, or quail before any dangers, however 
threatening, or to avoid any privations or sacrifices 
which might promote his country's cause. To secure 
her liberties he spent many toilsome days and sleepless 
nights, for her his body was covered with wounds ; and 
for her he endured fatigue, sickness and suffering with- 
out a murmur; to her welfare he consecrated his time, 
treasure and influence during a long, unblemished life. 
It was not by empty words or arrogant pretentions, but 
by self-denying and long-continued actions that he 
proved himself devoted to the welfare of his country. 

In June, 1832, Congress granted pensions to all sur- 
viving Revolutionary soldiers at the rate they received 
when in service, no one to receive more than the pay of 
a captain. To obtain this pension, General Graham 
made the following ) affidavit before Lincoln County 
Court — it is a good summary of his services : 



PASSED JUNE 7, 1832. 

"On this 30th day of October, personally appeared in 
open Court before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Ses- 
sions for the county of Lincoln, in North Carolina, now 
sitting, Gen. Joseph Graham, a resident of said county 
and State, aged seventy-three years, who, first being 
duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the 
following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of 
the act of Congress, passed June 7, 1832 : 


"That he enlisted in the army of the United States 
early in the month of May, 1778, and served in the 
Fourth Kegiment of the North Carolina Line, under 
Col. Archibald Lytle, in Captain Gooden's company; a 
part of the time; and the balance as Quartermaster-Ser- 
geant. The terms of the enlistment were to serve nine 
months after arriving at the place of rendezvous, which 
wasi stated to be at Bladensburgh, in the State of Mary- 

"These troops assembled in Charlotte, Mecklenburg 
County, where he then lived, and by slow movements 
marched on to near the Virginia line, detaining by the 
way for the recruits from the other counties to join. 
The field officers on this march were Col. Wm. L. David- 
son, Majors ,Wm. Polk and Henry Dickson (commonly 
called Hal Dickson), Capt. Smith Harris and others. 
When all assembled, encamped in Caswell County, at a 
place called Moon's Creek. At this place received in- 
telligence of the Battle of Monmouth, and that the Brit- 
ish were gone to New York ; that our services were not 
wanted in the North, and after some delay, the men be- 
came uneasy; their term of service had not yet com- 
menced, and they were uncertain when it would ; a mu- 
tiny took place, which was suppressed with some diffi- 
culty ; some officers broke their swords, and some of the 
soldiers were crippled. 

"It was afterw^ards proposed to such of the soldiers as 
would, to take furloughs until the fall, that their term 
of service should then commence. Most of those from 
the upper counties took furloughs, of whom this depo- 
nent was one, and he returned home to Mecklenburg, 
where he then resided ; about three months after he had 


left. Some time in August in the year 1778, he was 
again called into service and marched from Charlotte on 
the 5th day of November following, under command of 
General Rutherford with his brigade of five-months 
militia men (Colonel Lytle commanded the regulars), 
to the Ten-mile House, above Charleston, where he drew 
arms and camp equipage; from thence to Purysburg 
on Savannah River, where General Lincoln commanded ; 
and the regulars from North Carolina were organized in 
two regiments under Colonels Lytle and Armstrong; 
the brigade under Brigader-General Sumner; and this 
deponent, and company under Captain Gooden; which 
company and one commanded by Capt. Wm. Goodman, 
were shortly after transferred to a regiment of light in- 
fantry, which, after General Ashe was defeated at Briar 
Creek, was augmented by some companies of militia and 
placed under command of Colonel Malmedy (a French- 
man), and Maj. John Nelson, of the North Carolina 
Line. From the time the regiment of infantry was 
formed, this deponent acted as Quartermaster-Sergeant 
to the end of the campaign. Lieutenant Hillton (of 
the regulars ) , who was appointed Quartermaster, being 
in bad health and dying about the last of the year, this 
deponent discharged the whole duty, most of the time. 
During this service he was in a skirmish with McGirt, 
who commanded the British cavalry before Tarleton's 
arrival. Said regiment of light infantry was twice de- 
tached under the command of Count Pulaski, in one of 
which services a lieutenant, Chevalier Devallile (a 
Frenchman ) , in a rencontre with a British picquet, re- 
ceived a mortal wound ; he was in the Battle of Stono, 
on the 20th day of June, 1779; was discharged near 


Dorchester, S. C, he thinks by Col. Archibald Lytle, 
some time about the beginning of August, 1779; said 
discharge, and many other papers relating to that ser- 
vice, were given up to the Board of Commissioners, who 
sat at Warrenton in the year 1786, for the adjustment 
of the claims of the North Carolina Line. 

"Was taken with the bilious fever a few days before 
the term of service was up, and had much difficulty, but 
by the assistance of a friend, after some time got home ; 
and was not fully recovered at the end of two months. 
The terms on which this service was performed were to 
be exempted from military duties for three years after. 
His spirits were so depressed by the fever and recollec- 
tion of the hardships of a southern campaign in the 
summer, along the seaboard, he was disposed to avail 
himself of the privilege allowed him by the law, until 
about the latter end of May, when Colonel Buford was 
defeated, and it was announced the enemy were within 
thirty-five or forty miles ; when the militia were ordered 
out, en masse. This deponent joined them, and from 
the experience he had in military duties, was appointed 
Adjutant to the Mecklenburg regiment. From that 
county, being a frontier, and no other force to protect it, 
a part of said regiment, and some times all, were kept 
in the service most of the summer, and this deponent 
with them. The foot, under Gen. W. L. Davidson, en- 
camped southeast of Charlotte, and the horse, under 
Colonel Davie, were patrolling the country as far as 
Waxhaw, and the adjoining counties in the west, which 
were disaffected. On the 25th of September, heard that 
the whole British army were on the march from Cam- 
den. General Davidson immediately decamped, marched 


toward' Salisbury and ordered this deponent to 
Charlotte to join Colonel Davie, and take command 
of such of the inhabitants as should collect there on 
the news of the approach of the enemy — fifty-odd col- 
lected. In the disposition Colonel Davie made for re- 
sistance as the enemy entered the village this deponent 
commanded the reserve, and sustained the retreat by 
molesting the advance of the enemy for four miles 
against their whole cavalry and a battalion of infantry 
which followed; at last they charged, when Colonel 
Davie was not in supporting distance, and this depo- 
nent received nine wounds (the scars of which this 
Court testify are visible at this time) ; that he was left 
on the ground and afterwards taken to the hospital, and 
it was upwards of two months before his wounds were 
healed ; that after he recovered, the enemy were said to 
be in Winnsborough, S. O. The term of the militia 
who had been in service under General Davidson and 
Colonel Davie had expired. 

"General Davidson, some time in the month of De- 
cember, stated to this deponent that it was the opinion 
of General Greene the enemy would again advance in 
North Carolina as soon as a reinforcement and some 
stores on the way from Charleston should arrive; and 
that a call must be made for another draft. He wanted 
a part cavalry, and as Colonel Davie was now Commis- 
sary-General with General Greene, he did not expect him 
to furnish it. If this deponent would raise a company 
or more, he should be entitled to such rank as the num- 
bers would justify; that as an encouragement, each 
man would find his own horse and equipments and serve 


at that time for six weeks, it should stand in place of a 
tour of duty of three months, the time required by law. 

"The deponent, therefore, set out among the youth of 
his acquaintance, and in two or three weeks had up- 
wards of fifty. The principal difficulty was to procure 
arms — they generally had rifles; carried the muzzle in 
a small boot fixed to a strap fastened beside the right 
stirrup leather, and the butt ran through their shot-bag 
belt, so that the lock came directly under the right arm ; 
near half the swords were made by blacksmiths of the 
country. Those who had a pistol, had it swung by a 
strap the size of a bridle rein, on the left side over the 
sword, which was hung higher than the modern way of 
wearing them ; so as not to entangle their legs when act- 
ing on foot. Their equipments were not splendid ; they 
were the best that could be procured at that time, and 
in the hands of the men who used them ultimately as 
serviceable as arms that looked much finer. They had 
at all times all their arms with them, whether on foot or 
on horseback, and could move individually or collec- 
tively, as circumstances might require, without depend- 
ing on commissary, quartermaster or other staff. 

"After Tarleton's defeat on the 17th of January, 1781, 
the enemy in pursuit of General Morgan came to Cow- 
an's Ford on the Catawba, on the 1st day of February. 
This deponent had two of his company killed opposing 
their passage, and his was the only company that went 
off the battle-ground in order and covered the retreat; 
at the same time our General Davidson fell. On the 
7th of February, this deponent's company, hanging on 
the rear of the British, on their march from Shallow 
Ford, on the Yadkin, to Salem, routed a small party, 


killed one, and took five prisoners (regulars). After 
this the North Carolina militia were placed under the 
command of Gen. Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina, 
and this deponent's company, with others under Col. 
Joseph Dickson, passed on over Haw Eiver; was dis- 
patched by General Pickens in the evening, with part 
of his company, and some riflemen from Rowan, forty- 
five in number, marched in the night of the 17th, at light 
next morning, surprised and killed or took prisoners a 
guard of an officer and twenty-six men, at Hart's Mills, 
one and a half miles from Hillsboro, where the British 
army then lay; the evening of the same day formed a 
junction with Colonel (Light-horse Harry) Lee's legion; 
a day or two after this Tarleton, with his legion, set out 
over Haw River to join Colonel or Doctor Pyles, and 
Lee after him. This deponent's company and all the 
militia equipped as dragoons, were placed under Lee, in 
the rear of his dragoons; on falling in with Pyles and 
the Tories, instead of Tarleton, Lee passed along the 
front of their line in a parallel direction. Although he 
(Graham) knew their character, Lee's men, who had 
recently come to the South, did not; when the militia 
came near and discovered the strip of red cloth each 
man had on his hat, they made the first attack on the 
Tories; some of our blacksmith's swords were broken, 
others bent, etc. Tarleton, who was then in the vicin- 
ity, as soon as informed of the result, set off for Hills- 
boro; we pursued about half way, and not overtaking, 
turned to the left up the country. The next day, he 
having got a reinforcement, came after us, attacked our 
picquet guard in the night; in the firing killed Maj. Mi- 
cajah Lewis, a Continental officer, and compelled us to 


move. After various movements, and both armies hav- 
ing got to the south of Haw Eiver, near Alamance 
Creek, on the 2d of March, a detachment of about six 
hundred (all militia, except Lee's Legion) advanced in 
three columns under his command. This deponent and 
company in front of the left, with orders to support the 
left flank; after passing through a farm, near Clapp's 
Mill, and entering a coppice of woods, encountered a 
large party of the enemy drawn up in position, a smart 
firing commenced, and after three or four rounds, our 
line gave way; the ground was so hampered with thick 
underbrush, and the Tories pressing us on the left flank, 
the retreat was effected with difficulty ; retreated about 
one mile to the ford, on Big Alamance, where Col. Otho 
Williams, the regulars under his command, and Wash- 
ington's cavalry, were drawn up to support us; the 
enemy did not pursue more than five hundred yards ; in 
the affair two^ were killed, three wounded, and two taken 
prisoners of this deponent's company, seven in all. On 
the 1st of March, the term of service for which the men 
had engaged was up, and about two-thirds of them would 
go home, the others were persuaded to stay longer, being 
daily in expectation of a general action. 

"The day after the battle at Clapp s Mill, Colonel Lee 
ordered this deponent to take twenty-five men and go 
to where the battle was, and see if the enemy were 
there; if gone, take their trail, credit no report of the 
inhabitants, but proceed until we actually saw the Brit- 
ish troops. At the battle ground found the British 
had gone after burying their own dead and leaving ours ; 
took the trail in the evening, came in view of their 
sentries on the Salisbury road, within half a mile of' 


their headquarters, and directly dispatched a sergeant 
and six of the party to inform Lee ; the rest of our party 
moved after dark through the \\'oods, with a view of tak- 
ing two sentries we had seen in the evening. In this we 
failed, hut after they had fired at us we went briskly 
up the main road. In half a mile met a patrol of their 
cavalry about equal to our number ; after hailing, briskly 
discharged a volley in their faces; they retreated and 
took to the woods; we took their officer prisoner, the 
rest escaped. ,We turned out of the road in an obscure 
path. In half a mile halted to take some refreshments. 
On the great road opposite to us a quarter of a mile 
distant heard a scattering fire and considerable noise 
which lasted for some time. Two days after we learned 
from a deserter that on report of the sentries in the 
evening, the patrol was sent up the road after us, and 
were returning when we met and dispersed them. When 
they came into camp from different directions, upwards 
of one hundred cavalry were sent up the road after us, 
and at eleven o'clock at night met a company of Tories 
coming in to join them. Not doubting that it was 
the party which had defeated their picquet, they 
instantly charged them, and considerable slaughter 
was made before it was discovered they were friends. 
These small affairs did more to Toryism 
to the south than anything that had before occurred. 
A few days before at Piles' defeat, they had been cut up 
by Lee's men and ours, when they thought it was their 
friend Tarleton ; in the present case they were cut up by 
the British, when they thought it was the Americans. It 
is not known that any of them attempted to join the 
British afterwards. 


"This deponent and company some days after were in 
the action at Whitsell's Mill, on Reedy Fork, under 
command of Colonel Washington, when Colonel Web- 
ster, with the elite of the British army, for twelve 
miles pressed us so closely as to compel Colonel Otho 
Williams, the commander, to fight at this place. The 
men whom I had persuaded thus long to remain for 
a general action, being disappointed, and having noth- 
ing but heavy skirmishing, in which they still had to 
act a prominent part, determined to go home; which 
they reported to General Greene. He ordered this de- 
ponent to go with them and keep them in a compact 
body until they got through the disaffected settlements 
on the east side of the Yadkin. We passed that river 
on the 14th of March, 1781, and on the 17th most of 
the company got home. Although the company were 
engaged to serve only six weeks, about two-thirds of 
them served upwards of two months. From the time 
I undertook to raise the company until I returned home, 
about three months. Owing to the early death of Gen 
eral Davidson, under whose orders I acted, I had no 
written commission, but Colonel Dickson, under whom 
I was afterwards placed, gave a written discharge some 
time after. In this service was in eight battles or skir- 
mishes, and lost nine men by the enemy, viz., four 
killed, three wounded, and two prisoners. 

"After the battle of Guilford, the enemy marched to 
Wilmington and left a garrison there, but no militia 
services were called for in the west until the month of 
August, 1781, though the Tories, under the protection 
of the British, had possession of the country south of 
Cape Fear up to and above Fayetteville. And Colonel 


Fanning of the Tories surprised Hillsboro and took 
Governor Burke prisoner. General Eutherford, wlio 
had been captured at Gates' defeat, and with other 
distinguished citizens confined for twelve months in 
the castle of St. Augustine, had been exchanged, and 
returned about this time. He sent this deponent orders 
to raise a troop of dragoons in Mecklenburg. Many of 
those who had served the preceding winter joined it. 
There were but four married men in the troop. Our 
headquarters were near Pedee. Deponent did not re- 
ceive the commission herewith sent until several days 
after the organization. His reason for applying for it 
was that on former occasions officers who had acted 
under verbal appointments, and had been talcen pris- 
oners, had not been represented as officers, but treated 
as common soldiers. When the drafts were assembled 
a legionary corps was formed under the command of 
Col. E. Smith, who had been a captain in the North 
Carolina line; it consisted of three troops of dragoons, 
about ninety-six troopers and two hundred mounted 
infantry. This deponent was appointed major, as will 
appear by the commission and other papers herewith. 
Two days afterwards the general having information 
that the Tories embodied on Eaft Swamp, upwards 
of six hundred in number, were about to retreat before 
him towards Wilmington, detached this deponent with 
the dragoons and forty mounted men with orders to 
endeavor to hold them at bay or impede their march, 
so that he might follow and overtake them. When they 
were overtaken, the ground appearing favorable, they 
were charged by the dragoons and entirely defeated 


and dispersed, twenty or thirty being killed and wound- 
ed entirely with sabre. 

"This deponent was afterwards detached by Colonel 
Smith with one troop of dragoons and two companies 
of mounted men. At Moore's plantation, a mile below 
the ferry at Wilmington, surprised and defeated about 
one hundred Tories, killed and wounded twelve; next 
day was an unsuccessful attack on a British garrison 
in a brick house that covered the ferry opposite Wil- 
mington; had one of our party killed. 

"^This deponent was afterwards detached, by order of 
General Eutherford, with three companies, one of dra- 
goons, by Brunswick, over Lockwood's Folly and Wac- 
camaw River. At a place called Seven Creeks, near the 
South Carolina line, was attacked about midnight by the 
noted Colonel Gainey of South Carolina, who was then 
under a truce with General Marion, but it appears did 
not consider it binding in Nortli Carolina, had one of our 
party killed and two wounded, and four horses killed. 
The cavalry charged and defeated the Tories and killed 
one of Gainey's party. 

"For the further evidence of this service, see General 
Rutherford's order to this deponent (after the British 
had left Wilmington), dated Wilmington, Nov. 18th, 
1781, and the orders this deponent gave to those under 
his command when acting in pursuance of said order. 
The whole service was something over three months. 
Lost two men killed, and two wounded, and was in four 



In the Regular Service. 

"From the month of May, 1778, until the same time in 
August, when furloughed to go home, 3 months. 

"From the 5th day of November, 1778, to the 5th of 
August, 1779, 9 months. 

In the Militia Service. 

"From about the 1st of June, 1780, until the 17th of 
March, 1781, including the time lying in the hospital 
and disabled from service, except about two weeks after 
got well of wounds, say 9 % months — 9 i/4 months. 

"From about 20th of August, 1781, to 1st of December, 
to Wilmington, 314 months — total 241/2 months. 

"The deponent states that he has a record of his age ; 
that he was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on 
the 13th day of October, 1759 ; that he removed to Meck- 
lenburg County, in the State of North Carolina, when 
about ten years of age; was present in Charlotte on 
the 20th day of May, 1775, when the committee of the 
county of Mecklenburg made their celebrated Declara- 
tion of Independence of the British Crown, upwards of 
a year before the Congress of the United States did at 
Philadelphia; that he resided in Mecklenburg County 
until 1792, and since that time in the county of Lincoln. 

"He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a 
pension or annuity except the present, and declares that 
his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any 

"Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid. 

(Signed) "J. Graham." 


To Joseph Graham, Esq. — Greeting: 

Reposing especial trust and confidence in your patriotism, con- 
duct, and fidelity, I do hereby nominate and appoint you Major of 
Lieut. Col. Robert Smith's legionary corps in my brigade. You are, 
therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Major, 
doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging; 
and I do strictly charge and require all officers ana soldiers under 
your command, to be obedient to your orders as Major. And you 
are to observe, and follow from tim'e to time, such orders and direc- 
tions as you shall receive from your superior officers according to 
the rules of military discipline and laws of this State. 

Given under my hand in Camp, at Rock-fish Bridge, October 7th, 
A. D. 1781. 

(Signed) Griffith Rutheefobd. 

State of North Carolina. 

I do hereby nominate and appoint Joseph Graham, captain of the 
troop of horse during this present expedition; he Is, therefore, to 
conform himself to all the rules and regulations of the army, and 
is to obey his superior officers; and I hereby require and command 
all officers and soldiers under his command to pay strict obedience 
to his orders. 

Given under my hand, this 12th day of Septem'ber, 1781. 

(Signed) Griffith Rutherford, B. G. M. 

This is to certify that Major Joseph Graham, with a troop of 
horse served a tour of six weeks' duty agreeable to Gen. Davidson 
orders under command. 

(Signed) Jo. Dicksoit, Col. 
July 25, 1782. 

To Maj. Joseph Graham. 

Sir: — You are hereby authorized and directed to take command 
of the whole of the dragoons and mounted infantry of Col. Smith's 
corps, who are now on the leftward of the Northwest River. You 
are then to join Col. Leonard and take such a route as will tend 
most effectually to disperse and finally subdue such Tories and dis- 
affected people as continue embodied in the settlements bordering 
on this State and adjoining to South Carolina; and you are to con- 
tinue in this service as long as may appear to you necessary for 


accomplishing this purpose. Then to march your comm'and home, 
not suffering them to disperse until you may have crossed the Great 
Pee Dee, then regularly discharge your troops. 

(Signed) Griffith Rutheefobd, B. G. M. 
Nov. 18, 1781. 

Camp Marsh Castle, Nov. 21, 1781. 
Orders: — OfiBcer of the day, to-morrow, Capt. Cummins: Guard 
to consist of one Lieut., one Sergeant, twelve Privates; every per- 
son in camp to immediately enroll with Capt. Carruth Cummins, 
or with Lieut. Baldwin; those who have heen officers during the 
campaign to he called on as such: troops to hold themselves in 
readiness to march precisely at six o'clock in the morning. And 
it is required that the most profound silence and greatest order is 
observed on the march, throughout the whole of this route. 
N. B. Returns to he made by eight o'clock this evening. 

(Signed) Jos. Graham, 

Maj. Commanding. 

Camp Enny's Bridge, Nov. 22, 1781. 
Orders: — Officer of the day, to-morrow, Capt. Carruth, troops to 
be on the alarm' post at five, and march at six. Lieut. Baldwin 
with his troops to continue at the bridge until the other troops 
have passed the Swamp, then return such a route as he may think 

(Signed) Jos. Graham, Maj. 

Camp Mr. Barnes' Plantation, Ashpool, 
Nov. 23rd, 1781. 
Orders: — Officer of the day, to-morrow, Capt. Cummins. Guard 
to consist of ten Privates, Officer and Sergeant; Troops to march 
at six o'clock in the morning. Guard two hundred paces in rear, 
two swordsmen same distance in rear of them; no detached party 
or guard on the march to fire a gun if it can be avoided except at 
a party or when we may stop to forage on individuals. 

(Signed) Jos. Graham, 



Jonas Bradshaw, a resident of Lincoln County, North Carolina, 
being sworn in open court deposeth that he served in the same com- 
pany and regiment with Joseph Graham' the whole time from early 
in the month of May, 1778, until the 5th day of August, 1779; ex- 
cept the time they were furloughed some time in August, 1778, 
until the 5th day of November following and that said Graham 
acted as Orderly Sergeant to Captain Gooden's company part of 
the time and as Quartermaster sergeant to the regiment a greater 
part of the time. 

Sworn and subscribed to the day Eind year aforesaid. 

(Signed) Jonas X Bradshaw. 

We, Hartwell Spain, a clergyman residing in, thei County of Lin- 
coln, and Jacob Forney residing in the sam'e, hereby certify that'"- 
we are well acquainted with General Joseph G-raham who has sub- 
scribed and sworn to the foregoing declaration; that we believe 
him to be seventy three years of age and that he has always been 
reputed and believed in the neighborhood where he resiaed to have 
been a soldier in the Revolution and we concur in this opinion. 

Sworn and subscribed the day aforesaid. 

(Signed) Haetwteli, Spain. 
(Signed) J. Forney. 

And the said Court do hereby declare their opinion after the 
Investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogatories 
prescribed by the War Department that the above named aflSant 
was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states. And the 
Court further certifies that it appears that Hartwell Spain who 
signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman, resident in the 
County of Lincoln, and that Jacob Forney, who has also signed, is a 
resident of said county and State, is a creditable person and his 
statement is entitled to credit. 

I Vardrey McBee, Clerk of the Court do hereby certify that the 
foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said Court in the 
matter of the application, of General Joseph Graham for a pension. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of 
office this the 30th October 1832. 

(Seal) (Signed) Vaedbey McBee, 




No. 6937. Depaetment of the Inteeiok, 

Rev. War. bukeau of pensions. 

Washington, D. C, January 6, 1902. 
Sir, — In reply to your request for a statement of the military 
history of Joseph Graham, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, you 
will find helow the desired information as contained in his appli- 
cation for pension on file in this Bureau: 

Dates of 


or Appoint- 


Length of 


Officers under Whom Service 
was Rendered. 




May ir78— 
Nov 5, 1778 „ 
Feb. 1779 ... 

Jan. 1780 

Dec. 1780 

Aug. 30, 1781 . 

3 months.. 
3 " 
6 " .. 
6 " 
3 mos. 5 days 
1 mo. 17 days 
1 mo. 24 days 
24 mos.l6 d'ys 




Capt. Cav'y_ 


Qooden __ 

Archibald Lytle-. 


Robt. Irwin 

Jos. Dickson 

Robt. Smith 



Battles engaged in — Charlotte and many skirmishes. 
Residence of soldier at enlistment — Mecklenburg County, N. 0. 
Date of application for pension — October 30, 1832. 
Residence at date of application — Lincoln County, N. C. 
Age at date of application — Bom Octoher 13, 1759, Chester 
County, Pa. 

Remarks: His claim was allowed. Ho stated that h© received 
nine wounds at the battle of Charlotte and was in hospital two 

Very respectfully, 

H. Clay Evans, 
To Mr. W. A. Graham, Machpelah, N. C. 
Note. — Enlisted in May when 18 years of age. 

SEPTEMBER 26, 1780. 

On Lord Cornwallis' approach to Charlotte, Graham 
was ordered to report to Col. W. E Davie and take 
command of such Mecklenburg men as should assemble 
thera Fifty-siix assembled, who were organized into. 


a company of cavalry, and he was appointed captain. 
His account of the equipment of his men reads much 
like the experience of some of his descendants as Con- 
federate soldiers. He was sent with his company to 
watch the enemy, who were encamped ten miles from 
Charlotte, between McAlpin and Sugar Creeks, on the 
Camden road. He retired as they advanced, annoying 
them when opportunity was presented. His orders 
were when the village was reached not to fire hut to 
draw the enemy up to the infantry at the court-house. 
The commanding of&cer of the British advance, Major 
Hanger, rode conspicuously at the head of his troops. 
When Graham's company arrived about where the rail- 
road now crosses South Tryon street, one of his men (his 
brother-in-law, Thomas Barnett) remarked to a com- 
rade, "I believe that is Comwallis; I am going to get 
him." He dismounted and was aiming his rifle, when 
Captain Graham rode up and told him he had given him 
orders not to fire, and if he did not remount his horse 
he would cut him down in his tracks. Barnett obeyed 
the command. 

Thirty years after this, when two of Graham's sons 
visited their Uncle Barnett's family, he related the 
circumstance to them, and seemed as angry as though it 
had occurred that afternoon. 

The disposition of the troops in the village for battle 
was about as follows : 

Major Dickson's command was placed behind the 
McCombs' House, near where the Buford Hotel now 
stands. The infantry was formed in three lines across 
North Tryon street, the first line twenty steps from the 
court-house, the other lines each fifty yards in rear, with 


orders to advance to the court-house, fire and retire by 
flank. Eighty yards distant on East and West Trade 
streets were two troops of cavalry, each concealed by a 
building. Captain Graham, with his and Captain Bran- 
don's company from Eowan County, were placed as 
reserve where Tryon Street Methodist Church now 
stands (1902). 

As the British advanced Major Dickson fired on them, 
but they advanced rapidly; the first line at the court- 
house moved up and fired. As they retired, the enemy 
thought they were retreating, and rushed for the court- 
house; the cavalry companies on Trade street, as they 
reached the "Square," fired upon them. This they could 
do without harming each other, as one was down the hill 
about opposite the Belmont, while the other was 
about Andrews' furniture store. The British retired 
in haste to their infantry. The infantry, by movements 
to the right and left through the lots, gained the fianks 
of the Americans and opened fire, which compelled them 
to retreat "after a short, spirited resistance" ; the re- 
serve held their position until they had fired two 
rounds. They moved off in order through the woods 
(Church street), with Major Hanger's troops within 
one hundred and fifty yards. Arriving at the Muddy 
Branch they made a stand and faced the enemy at the 
gum tree near where the Seaboard Air Line station is 
now located. Here Captain Graham narrowly escaped 
death by the bursting of the gun of one of the men at 
his side. The reserves, being pressed by the enemy, 
scattered and rallied again at Kennedy's Creek, two 
miles distant. The enemy advancing, the troops broke, 
but rallied again near the Cross Roads, where they 


formed and engaged the infantry in a hot skirmish. 
Some of the men dismounted and used the trees for de- 
fense. The British cavalry divided and moved so as 
to gain both the right flanli and rear of the Americans, 
charged and dispersed them. In the fight Lieut. George 
Locke and two privates were killed. Colonel Lindsey 
of Georgia, who was acting as a volunteer, Captain 
Graham and ten others were wounded. 

As Captain Graham was engaged in a hand-to-hand 
fight, his horse backed under a limb of a tree which 
knocked him off. He received three bullets in the 
thigh, one saber thrust in the side, one cut on the back 
of the neck and four upon the forehead. And 
from one of these some of his brains exuded.* The 
cut on the back of the neck must have been given as he 
fell or fought on foot. It cut a heavy silver buckle 
which he wore on his stock entirely in two ; but for the 
buckle it would have severed his head from his body 
or cut the arteries so that he would have bled to death. 
Such a blow, those who have had experience in saber 
fighting know, could not be dealt by one mounted man 
upon another. Later, upon retiring, as they passed him, 
one of the British aimed his pistol at him with intent 
to shoot. Major Hanger said, "Put up your pistol ; save 
your ammunition; he has enough." Thus was his life 
preserved. After the enemy retired, the wounded patriot, 
to slake his thirst and bathe hisi wounds, crawled to a 

branch near Mrs. Smart's spring. About sunset her 

daughter, Mrs. Susan Alexander, coming to the spring 
for a bucket of water, was hailed by him. She returned 

*Some years afterwards an old lady acquaintance asked him If he thought he 
had as much sense as before losing a portion of his brains. He replied that he 
had not perceived any difference. 


to the house and brought her mother. They aided him in 
getting to the house, dressed his wounds, and put him to 
bed and hung hanks of hackled flax around the bedstead 
to conceal him from the view of anyone who might come 
into the house. Mrs. Alexander says that when found 
his clothes were dyed with his blood. He lay so quietly 
during the night that they thought he was dead, and 
once or twice examined to see. 

Next day Eobert Ramsey, of the Rowan troops, going 
to the house to see him, and finding half the buckle on 
his stock, went to the place of "rencontre," and found the 
other half on the ground. The two pieces were joined 

together by , a smith of those times. The stock 

was worn in place of a cravat, and this style was re- 
tained by gentlemen of the "old school" until the Confed- 
erate War. The buckle on the back was small ; in front 
there was a bow sewed to the stock. In Revolutionary 
times the buckle on the military stocks was about one 
and a half or two inches in size. That day a party of 
the British, among whom was an officer's wife, coming to 
the house for milk, and ascertaining that a wounded 
soldier was there, the lady proposed to return to camp 
and send a surgeon to dress his wounds. On their 
departure, Robert Ramsey and others, fearing his cap- 
ture, mounted him on his horse, which his comrades 
had caught the day before, carried him to his mother's 
residence (some four miles), procured a wagon and 
conveyed him to Guilford (now Davie) County, where 
he remained until he recorered. Mrs. Alexander of- 
fered to ride behind him and hold him on his horse 
from Mrs. Smart's to his mother's, but it was thought 


He returned to his command in January, and when 
Lord Cornwallis again advanced into North Carolina, 
met him at Cowan's Ford and followed him to Guil- 
ford Court-house. He thought the fight at Charlotte 
was a mistake, as defeat of the Americans was certain 
under any circumstances. He thought that much more 
could have been accomplished by allowing the enemy to 
encamp at Charlotte and then attacking any parties 
which might be sent out for foraging and other purposes. 

A pension was granted Mrs. Alexander in 1851 for 
her services on this occasion. It is Widow's Revolu- 
tionary Pension, No. 20568. The following is the rec- 
ord : 

"Widow of John Alexander, of Captain Ballard's 
company, nine months North Carolina Troops, 1779; 
also in service in N. C. Militia. 

"James Alexander, father of John, was also in ser- 

"Susan Alexander is said to have saved the life of 
Joseph Graham, N. C. Partisan Rangers. The said 
Joseph Graham was severely wounded at Charlotte, 
October (September) 26th, 1780. He was found by 
Susan Alexander, who took him to her house, washed 
and dressed his wounds and cared for him until he re- 

General Graham's children always called her "Aunt 


Major Stedman, Commissary to Lord Cornwallis' 
forces, says, in American War, Vol. II, page 216 : 


"Charlotte was taken possession of after a slight re- 
sistance from the militia, towards the close of Septem- 
ber. At this period Major Hanger commanded, Colonel 
Tarleton being ill. In the center of Charlotte, inter- 
secting the two principal streets, stood a large brick 
building, the upper part being the court-house and the 
under part the market house. Behind the shambles a 
few Americans on horse-back placed themselves. The 
legion was ordered to drive them off, but upon receiving 
a fire from behind the stalls, this corps fell back. Lord 
Comwallis rode up in person and made use of these 
words : 'Legion, remember you have everything to lose, 
but nothing to gain,' alluding, it is supposed, to the 
former reputation of the corps. Webster's brigade 
moved on and drove the Americans from behind the 
court-house. The legion then pursued them, but the 
whole British army was actually kept at bay for some 
minutes by a few mounted Americans not exceeding 
twenty in number." 



In 1845, Dr. John H. Gibbon, Superintendent of the 
United States Mint at Charlotte, in his practice as a 
physician, made the acquaintance of Mrs. Susie Alexan- 
der, who resided near "cross-roads," some four miles 
from Charlotte, on the Salisbury road, near where Maj. 
Joseph Graham was wounded and left on the field for 
dead by Tarleton's men, September 26, 1780. Mrs. Alex- 
ander gave Dr. Gibbon an account of her finding Major 
Graham, and of her and her mother's (Mrs. Smart) at- 
tention to him ; also of the stay of General Jackson and 


his mother at her father's near this time. Dr. Gibbon 
sent the narrative to The Daily Union, the leading Dem- 
ocratic paper of the country, which published it July 11, 
1845. He also requested The National Intelligencer, 
the leading Whig paper, to copy. Both papers were 
published in Washington, D. C. 

The Intelligencer declined to do so, pronounced the 
stories "fabulous," and made comments as given below 
in its issue of August 1. 

Dr. Gibbon wrote again, and his letter and The Intel- 
ligencer's comments Avere published in its issue of the 

The National Intelligencer was edited with an ability 
never surpassed in journalism in the United States, and 
had the confidence and respect of its patrons to an extent 
that has never been equalled. I would almost as soon 
have thought of mutilating the family Bible as tearing 
The National Intelligencer. When we find a paper of 
this character exhibiting such gross and inexcusable 
ignorance concerning North Carolina Eevolutionary 
history, we can not be surprised at the yelping of "Tray, 
Blanche and Sweetheart" recorded in some of the other 
journals of the country. 

I have been unable to find The Union of July 11, 1845, 
and can not give verbatim Mrs. Alexander's narrative. 

The Intelligencer denied this because it is contrary to 
what history relates Jackson to have said. What evi- 
dence is there to substantiate Mrs. Alexander? 

Waxhaw is on the road leading from Charlotte to 
Camden. About the 1st of August, Cornwallis left 


Charleston and arrived at Camden a week or ten days 
afterward. Charlotte was directly on the route that it 
was known he had determined to travel. Waxhaw was 
on the route to Charlotte. Is it not plausible that when 
Mrs. Jackson heard of the approach of the British she 
began her journey and arrived at the Alexander's at the 
time stated? Tarleton, in May previous, had visited 
the Waxhaw section, the people knew of the inhumanity 
of the British, and those intending to leave would do so 
upon learning a second visit was contemplated. Exami- 
nation of the map of Mecklenburg County, Part II, will 
show the roads likely to be travelled. Persons going 
from Waxhaw to Salisbury would not pass through 
Charlotte, but, after passing Sugar Creek, take a right- 
hand fork, and leaving Charlotte four miles to the left, 
enter the Charlotte-Salisbury road at "Cross-Eoads" 
near the Alexander Residence. Generals Sumner and 
Davidson took this route on September 25, and left 
Davie to protect Charlotte. If Mrs. Jackson went home, 
as Mrs. Alexander testifies, when Cornwallis reached 
Charlotte, this road would avoid his troops and place 
her in his rear at Waxhaw. The same road in an oppo- 
site direction would have taken her via Salisbury to 
Guilford County, where Kendall, in his life of Jackson, 
says they went. 

I append the articles of The Intelligencer, also a reply 
by ex-Governor Graham, which I find in manuscript, but 
do not know that it was ever published. 

Revolutionakt Legends. 

[National Intelligencer, August 1, 1845.] 
An anonymous "Subscriber" enclosed to us a little while back 
some columns commlmlcated to The Union (the government paper) 


as authentic memorials of the Revolution in North Carolina. Were 
this series of stories striking, we would still he scrupulous of pub- 
lishing them as historical. Our friend has, we thinik, overrated 
both their interest and their truth. 

They avow themselves to be taken from the oral narrations of 
an ancient midwife, whom the author meets in his professional 
labors as a physician. The personal habits of this ancient dame 
and traits of her discourse — her medical theories — her aversion to 
Indians — her fondness for her pigs, etc., make up a large part of 
these "Sketches of the Revolutionary War in North Carolina." 
With these — signally uninstructive — are mixed some aflventures of 
one Jo Graham', who appears to have escaped the pursuit of Tarle- 
ton's dragoons, when they chased Colonel Davie's men from Char- 
lotte (N. C.) toward Salisbury, on the 26th of September, 1780. 

Now, the historical value of "Aunt Susie's" stories is not entirely 
positive, inasmuch as we neither know the old lady's source of 
information nor her name, nor that of him who holds the pen for 
her, nor his accuracy in regard to what (true or not) she told him. 
By all the rules of historical criticism, therefore, all that, out of 
our zeal for the truth and to gratify our subscriber, we could do, 
was to compare her narrative with others of supposed truth, and 
thus ascertain its probability. Its truth there was no ascertaining; 
but, at least, we thought we might be able tO' satisfy ourselves of 
the possibility, though not the reality of the facts. So we con- 
sidered, consulted and remembered. 

Well, the "Sketches" relate, besides the mishaps of Jo Graham 
(as mentioned) and the succor given him' in his wounded state by 
Aunt Susie and her mother, the arrival and "residence" at their 
farm house of some other persons a little more famous. Now, his- 
tory, we saw, afforded no means of clearing up the facts concerning 
Jo Graham, inasmuch as the negligent Muse, CliO', has never given 
herself the slightest thought of rescuing tlh© deeds, and wrestling 
the "red coat and white small clothes" of the puissant Jo from 
unmerited oblivion. They say — at least Horace says — that she was 
quite in the habit of treating great men so, before Agamemnon's 

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona 
Multi; sect omnes illacrymoMles 
Vrgentur, ignotique longa 
Nocte, carent quia vote sacro. 


As to Jo Grahain, therefore, we had no- hope of making the muse 
and midwife correct and check each other's fables. But when the 
grandame's tale ventured out of the unknown into the known, we 
felt that it would need no Niebuhr to catch her tripping. 

Well, these more historical personages are such as — her stories 
relating to the time of Gates' defeat at Camden, and she herself 
being then a dweller some five miles from Charlotte toward Salis- 
bury, near the road from the former to the latter town — were to be 
expected from' a dame living not far from General Jackson's birth- 
place, the Waixh&ws. The General, then, is introduced, apropos 
of a dish of boiled rice and milk, which the doctor recommends 
to Aunt Susie: 

"Upon one occasion, when she was indisposed, I recommended 
the use of rice boiled in milk as a diet well adapted to her age and 
complaint. At the same time mentioned an anecdote I had heard— 
that, when General Jackson was in Philadelphia, he sat down with 
a large company to a sumptuous dinner provided for him, and 
occasioned some surprise and delay by unexpectedly asking for 
boiled rice and milk." 

From this observation I derived the following account of 
The Fugitives From the Waxhaws. 

"Ande Jackson!" cried the old lady; "Oh! I m'ind Ande Jackson 
well; and I have no doubtl he would mind me, too. 

"He and his mother — ^Aunt Betty, we called her (her name was 
Elizabeth) — her sister and brother-in-law (John McKamie), and a 
black girl, named Cbairlotte, with several horses, fled before the 
British, from the Waxhaws, and came to reside at my father's 
house. They told us they just come in to stay under our roof; and 
we just told them to stay. My husband was in arms; and we all 
four gathered at my father's for convenience. Ande Jackson and 
his mother came up from Waxhaws about six weeks before the 
British came to Charlotte. The old woman lamented very much, 
every now and then, about things being left In such desolation at 
home. She acknowledged she did think of the leeks and onions of 

"She was a fresh-looking, fair-haired, very conversive, old Irish 
lady, at dreadful enmity with the Indians. I thought her eldest 
son was killed by them. They did lament about their eldest son 
and brother. They took great spells of mourning about him. Ande 
was her youngest child. He was a tall young fellow, about 11 or 12 


years of age. He was a lank, leaning-forward fellow, tall of his 
age, and a poor, gripy-looking fellow, but with a large forehead and 
big eyes. He never was pretty, but there was something very agree- 
able about him. I thought him a mighty good boy — very cheerful, 
observing and trying to improve. 

"Ande was dressed in homespun, like we all were. They did 
go in coarse fare during the Revolution; but, indeed, one man then 
was worth two men now, generally speaking. 

"They were healthful, unlearned men; but there are some mtich 
more ignorant now. 

"It would have broken my heart if I had not known how to read. 
It is terrible loss not to know how to read. It Is a comfort to me 
this day, as it was then. 

"Ande was an independent boy in his manner and had good 
sense. I considered he would make a fine man then. 

"But dear me! I have heard stories enough of Ande Jackson to 
fill a book; but I never liked to believe them, for he was a good 
boy, and very fond of his mother. 

"His mother could not be idle. She could spin flax beautiful. 
We had no cotton then. She was the busiest that could be, as if she 
was working for wages; but there was no price or charge, either 
upon work or victuals, in those days. 

"Every one did whatever they could turn thedr hand to. She 
spun us heddle-yarn for weaving cloth and the best and finest I 
ever saw. 

"They were very anxious about home — I mean she was. Ha 
never fretted — was quite happy, like another boy. His mother 
m'oaned about home, as any other old body would; but, whiles, she 
would be very cheerful. 

"It was a time of great trials. 

"She did think a dreadful deal of that son, Ande, who was her all. 

"Ande and I tended the farm. His mother allowed him to work 
at every thing he would, and he was very willing. 

"We had a large new field, just cleared, planted in corn and 
pumpkins. Ande and I had the greatest time to keep up the fences 
to keep the hogs out. 

"For the horsemen — the flying infantry, as they were called — 
were always riding about, and would throw down the fences, with- 
out ever stopping to put them up again. 

"They would never go round a rod — being always in a hurry. 

"Ande would cut up pumpkins and feed that cow; and he liked 


to look at her eating. We fed her beautifully and she gave plenty 
of milk. 

"The Jacksons had rode upon horses, that were kept In a back 
pasture well out of sight. 

"Ande made bows and arrows, and shot birds about. There were 
many birds about in those days — snipes, partridges and wild 
turkeys. He had a great idea of some military business. 

"I like to see a big forehead and large eyes when I want to see 
a m'artial man. 

"Ande could not well be idle. He used to carry my baby about 
and nurse it bravely. He was very willing tO' do so. 

"It was in a peach and watermelon time tihey were here. We got 
a good deal of support out of the corn field. We were well off. We 
were not very nice. Our wants were not so many, and were the 
easiest supplied. 

"We had Continental and Convention, money plenty, but it was 
very light. Some of the big folks issued their own paper for small 
sums, for change, payable in one year; but a great deal of it never 
came back to be paid. People were not anxious about money. 
Money was a small matter in those days. Nothing attracted their 
attention but liberty. That was their wrhole object. 

"My biggest brothers had gione to the war. My husband was in 
the army, and I had my first baby in my arms. My m'other was 
heavy-footed at the time — far gone with her last Infant; but she 
could take care of my child. 

"Ande land I spread flax, watered and gathered it. Wo had no 
cotton at all. He and I packed away the flax in the loft. 

"The people hided all their boys, for fear the British would take 
them off. The men were all gone away to the army, and even the 
women into remote settlements, to be out of the way of the 
British — such a character had come from the lower country of 
their acts. 

"I had no Idea of going away. I never was afraid, thank God! 
My mother was too heavy-footed to go, lamd I had to stay with her. 

"But the British were often sore belied in my notion. It was the 
Tories did the m'ost mischief. 

"The Hessians were exactly heathens! The British told them 
they must fight to the death, for, if the Americans took them 
prisoners they would eat them. 

"But it must be said to the credit of the Americans, they never 
abused a prisoner yet — unless it was now and then to tar and 


feaitlier a Tory. This neither broke their bones nor scalded their 
heads, but kept them busy getting it off them, and I thought no 
harm of that at all. 

"The Jacksons got round and went home behind the British, as 
they came to Charlotte." 

A feiW facts and dates and all this vanishes into a very absurd 

The first battle of Camden (Gates) happened on the 16th of 
August, 1780. Cornwallis did not advance tO' Waxhaw until the 8th 
of September — only a little more than two (instead of the narra- 
tor's six) weeks before he entered Charlotte (26). This advance 
alone drove Mrs. Jackson from' her home. Besides, her son's 
biographers tell us she took to flight on the 8th. Moreover, since 
she only passed through Charlotte (as they also' arer) on the 25th 
it is clear that she advanced that far only fast enough to keep out 
of reach of the enemy, and under protection of Colonel Davie. He 
attempted to make some stand at Charlotte on the 26th, but was 
driven back and his troops dispersed. It is clear that it was for 
this reason that she then fled further and faster into Guilford 
County; and as all the lives say that she went thither to the house 
of a Mrs. McCulloch when she left Charlotte, "Aunt Susie" must, 
like Mr. Pickwick, make out an alibi or her case is a non-suit. 

This is not all: Aunt Susie says the mother, her sister's husband 
and Andrew, the only son, came to "stay" at her house; and that 
mother and son spoke of the other son as lately killed — she thought 
by the Indians. Now, the eldest brother, Hugh, fell at the battle of 
Stono, 20th June, 1779. Robert (the second) and Andrew were 
both companions of this her flight of the 25th September. Witness 
that the life of Jackson says: 

"On 25th September Lord Cornwallis, having been joined by 
Tarleton's forces (from the west side of the Catawba) resumed 
his march (from Waxhaws) for Charlotte." And immediately 

"On the morning of this day (the same 25th) Mrs. Jackson, with 
her two sons, passed through Charlotte on her way to a Mrs. Mc- 
Culloch, in Guilford county." 

Finally, Aunt Susie says the Jacksons, as the enemy came to 
Charlotte, "got round behind them and went home." A bold step; 
but why then had they been so prompt to leave the "Waxhaw settle- 
ment a month before Cornwallis came near them? Was it only to 
get back into much greater danger? 


But now, what do all the historiographers, except Aunt Susie, 
say? Mr. Kendall, for instamce? At his next mention of Mrs. Jack- 
son, after the relation of her flight into Guilford (25th September), 
he says: "Mrs. Jackson, with her two sons and the other Waxhaw 
settlers, rem'ained in their exile only until Lord Comwallis had 
crossed the Yadkin early in February. They then returned home, 
as well to look after their property as to keep alive the fire of 
patriotism in their own State. Nothing could exhibit more bold- 
ness than the return of these people at such a time." 

To conclude, then, we will not attempt to shake the authenticity 
of Aunt Susie's facts about! the General's haying shot sparrows at 
a great rate, or nursed her baby for her, or fed that little broken- 
backed cow with pumpkins. We even stand ready to ailmit that he 
was in the habit of looking very amicably at little broken-back 
while munching her pumpkins repast. But, these, we fear, are the 
most historical parts of her relations, and all the rest must pass for 
romance, or poetry, or mythology. 

Dr. J. H. Gibbon's Letter. 
[National Intelligencer, August 29, 1845.] 

Our displeased, but still courteous opponent (whom we are sorry 
to have wounded for such now that he frankly avows himself) 
ought certainly not to be surprised if, under the travesty of Jo 
Graham', we could not, without any other indications of his identity, 
recognize the father of the present highly-respected Governor of 
North Carolina. The figure he makes in the narrative was a little 
too strange to beget in ua any suspicion who was meant. We pro- 
ceed, however, to copy from The Union his reply to our strictures. 

"I read in The National Intelligencer, of the 2nd August, a criti- 
cism upon two "Sketches of the Revolutionary War in North Caro- 
lina," originally communicated in The Union of 11th July, a copy 
of which I enclosed annonymously to the editors of The Intelli- 
gencer, to which I am a 'subscriber.' 

"In the neighborhood in which I live, the persons referred to are 
Tery well known, and the narrative loses its anonymous character. 
Indeed, we are much better acquainted with the names of Ande 
Jackson, Jo Graham and Susie Alexander than with those of Clio, 
Horace and Agamemnon. 


"My surprise was certainly greater to see four lines of Latin 
verse connected with, the criticism upon these "revolutionary 
legions" in The Intelligencer, than at any discrepancy in the dates 
of an aged woman on the verge of the grave. 

"Notwithstanding the obviously bilious character of the criti- 
cism!, there are some apparent objections, which I have referred to 
Mrs. Alexander, to whom I read the observations in The Intelligen- 
cer. She said to me: "I had an excellent memory in my youth, 
but it may be somewhat jarred now. Anything that happened then 
is of more consequence to me than anything that happens now. I 
am sure that what I was told was put down as I heard it; and all 
that I stated were limits of the truth. 

"I don't know how you recollect it all, but what I read in print 
in The Union was exactly the truth. The only thing 1 would wish 
to correct was, with respect to Ande's age. As far as I could judge, 
when he was at our house, I think he was over thirteen. 

"Mrs. Jackson and her son, Andrew, came to our house in the 
month of August, and I am sure were there nigh to six weeks. No 
brother came with And© to our home. Nor do I recollect hearing 
themJ mention any other brother than the one that was killed. I 
only recollect about the death of that one brother, and I had it as a 
perfect belief, that he was killed by the Indians — for they often 
mourned Mm, and they were inveterate haters of the Indians, on 
account of their barbarities — both he and his mother. 

"It exactly affronts me to hear anything against him. He had 
fallings, like the best of men we have an account of, but he had 
his virtues, certainly. 

"He was a preserver — or in the hands of a preserver — upon the 
frontier against the Indians; and his very soul was grieved when 
he could not get men to help him. Oh! we all suffered by those 
horrid Indians; and the remembrance of it has not gone out of me 

"I am sure the Jacksons were near to six weeks at our house. 
Depend upon it, they came in August, for the corn was in the roastt- 
ing ears; and we had only the one crop in the big field; and in 
September we were taking in fodder in those times, for the corn 
was getting hard then. On the 25th and 26th of September of that 
year there cam'e awful frosts, and every bit of new land was ruined. 
We had taken some fodder before that, and Ande helped to tie it. was left was ruined — as white as a sheet and tasteless. It 


was a great cause of lamentation for it was adding more to our 

"It was on tlie 24th or 25tli of September that the Jacltsons left 
these logs (pointing to her house) a day or two^ before Graham 
was wounded. 

"The British hireling troops — Hessians, Germans, Norwaymen, 
and Welch — had done some rude mischief, abusing the young 
women, so that there was great fear of falling into their brutish 

"The Tories, too, were bold, forward amd troublesome in expecta- 
tion, when they heard the British were coming up from Charleston, 
and the Jaoksons were hurried off in consequence of their taking 
boys and holding them to wait on them like. So that Mrs. Jackson 
was induced to come away on account of her son — her all, as she 
often called him'. That's the story they told us! The time the 
British were occupied in marching from Charleston to Camden was 
quite sufficient to alarm the whole of the upper country. People 
were alarmed and making preparations to scratch out of the way 
before the battle of Camden; but much more so afterwards. There 
was a desperate talk about the battle of Camden while the Jack- 
sons were with us. The riders who carried the news were the 
whole lookout of the country, and reports came rapidly by us. 

"There were watermelons and peaches when the Jacksons came, 
but they gave out before they left us. Watermelons, in new land, 
come forward in July generally, and continue through August. 
August was the main time for our peaches. They are an early kind 
called Coneojig peaches from the neighborhood of that stream in 
Pennsylvania. About the 4th or 5th of August we had plenty, and 
the Jacksons had peaches, for, she said, 'she feared she would never 
eat peaches ast home again.' But the peaches were finished while 
■the Jacksons were here. They used of them, I mind. In the be- 
ginning of September we had few except late ones. 

"When the Jacksons came roasting ears were in prime case, and 
we did make them fly, too! We did not know whether we should 
enjoy that corn long, and we were not saving of it, for when Com- 
wallis came it was a very dark day about to open! 

"Ande and I often selected the pumpkins and beans, which were 
the only sauce we had with our meat. Flour was scarce, but we 
■were all well people then; we did not want delicacies. 

"Every now and then some one would call to stay a night at our 


house; for it was a great thoroughfare bet-ween two big roads, and 
people were flying in all directions from the enemy. Almost all the 
roads were only cow paths then, except to mill and meeting. 

"I recollect th© morning the Jacksons started, for they were very 
anxious and desired to get home with all intenseness, and I be- 
lieved well they went home, for she feared everything they had 
would be destroyed. But I think they had hid many of their tihings 
in the woods, as many bodies did. 

"I never heard about them much after they left us, except that 
Ande was going to school in Charlotte; for every one was in such 
wonderful confusion they had enough of their own affairs to at- 
tend to. 

"If they staid away so long as it is said, it was not what they 
intended to do when they left us. But I will not be sure they got 
back home. From everything I can remember they had determined 
to go home, but they nJa,j have found it would not do. They might 
have altered their intention after they left us, and it may be she 
went to Guilford instead of home, as they might soon change their 
notion In such_,times. They might hajv© taken the turn along with 
other company they met with going to Guilford, if they considered 
it unsafe to gO' home. A power of people went to Guilford, where 
our army was to be stationed and where the whole country 
crowded to. 

"In all their company the Jacksons had five horses. Ande and 
his mother rode each their own horse, with packs of clothing and 
food with them. About money, I don't know how taey were off; 
for, indeed, there was very little among us. 

"They all carried packs, and they took a course from our house 
to lead theml home; but it would also lead them toward Guilford, 
if they went there. If Ande was in the fight with Davie, he got in 
after he left our house, which was' only a day or two before the 
British reached Charlotte. 

"I do wish I had committed better to my memory about matters. 
If it could have been started earlier they might have had more to 
compare by. But I can stand over anything I say. But I can't pre- 
tend to be certain of what I can not be certain of. There is prob- 
ably not a living soul but myself that can ratify it exactly. It is no 
mystery to me — my recollection of the facts. As far as I go 
I went for the truth. But the confusion and distress was so great 
at the time it was very difficult to know how things were mixed 


It is the opinion of Aunt Susie, then, that Mrs. Jackson fled from 
the Waxhaws early in the n^'onth of August, and before the hattle 
of Camden, in consequence of the reckless behavior of the Tories 
in her neighborhood, excited by the assurance of the approach of 
the British troops from Charleston towards the upper country; 
that. Instead of passing through Charlotte on the 25th of Septem- 
ber, Mrs. Jackson, on that day, or the day before, left the vicinity, 
where she had found refuge atl James Alexander's, lafter her first 
flight, with the intention to: return home by McKamie on Rocky 
River — the same route she had form'erly passed over; that, most 
probably, prevented by reports of the condition of the country at the 
Waxhaws, over which the British had passed, they had kept the 
mala road northeasterly, and reached a second shelter in Guilford, 
where she remained till the middle of winter. 

In the confusion and constant incidents of travel, the first stop- 
ping place had been overlooked; but the events which are narrated 
in the recollections of Aunt Susie, have been frequently related by 
her, and are undoubtedly entitled to respect. 

Mrs. Alexander has herein described persons and dates, the crops 
and the season, as the best natural evidence to impress the accuracy 
of her recollections and opinions upon those who are prepared to 
understand the testimony she offers'. 

The desultory style of her narrative was caused by an occasional 
question interrupting her conversation. I know no one whose evi- 
dence would be more generally received among her neighbors as 
correct and true than that of Mrs. Susanna Alexander. 

With regard to the account Mrs. Alexander gives of "One Jo. Gra- 
ham'" (as the father of the present Gtovernor of North Carolina is 
characterized in The Intelligencer) she says: 

"It may be a romance, but it is a romantic truth." 

"There never was a truer story — that I can vindicate, for it hap- 
pened into my 'own hand, and I can tell it better than heresay! " 

I trust to the ordinary courtesy of the editors of The National 
Intelligencer to have Mrs. Alexander's explanation inserted In that 
paper. J. H. Gibbon, 

U. S. Branch Mint, Charlotte, N. C. 

August 9, 1845. 




To the ECitor of the Union: 

The National Intelligencer of August 1st, under the head of "Rer- 
olutionary Legends" contains an editorial critique upon an article 
in The Union of July lltih, entitled "Sketches of the Revolutionary 
War in North Carolina," which I must request a brief space in your 
paper to notice. The individual now addressing you had no agency 
in the preparation of these sketches nor any knowledge that such 
publication was intended or had been made until within a day or 
two of the appearance of The Intelligencer's remarks upon it. It 
may be proper further to add that although ai subscriber and con- 
stant reader of The National Intelligencer he is not that subscriber 
who desired a publication of these sketches in its columns, nor does 
he take any exception to its declaration that they are devoid of in- 
terest. But feeling a natural concern in the fame of the person 
who is the principal subject of the first of these sketches, and with 
whose services and suffering at the darkest period of the war in the 
South, The Intelligencer is pleased to trifle veir much to the amuse- 
ment of at lea;St the editors, he is constrained to interpose for the 
vindication of his memory against such causeless injustice. These 
sketches purport to be narratives derived from' a matron eighty-five 
years of age now living in the vicinity of Charlotte, Mecklenburg 
County, who is denominated by the writer "Aunt Susie" and whose 
family name is Alexander. And it may be remembered by your 
readers that one of them refers to the refuge (as it is alleged), of 
General Jackson in his boyhood at the house of this old lady's father 
about the time of the British invasion in North Carolina about 
1780; and the other to the succor and relief afforded by her and her 
mother to Joseph Graham, an officer who had fought under General 
Davie in the defense of Charlotte; who had been badly wounded on 
the retreat and left for dead by the enemy; who is described in the 
remarks prefixed to the sketches as the father of the present Gov- 
ernor of the State, and to whom every one In the least familiar 
with the traditions in the section of country where these events 
happened recognizes the late General Joseph Graham, then of Meck- 
lenburg, but for the last forty years preceding his death in 1836 
an inhabitant of the adjoining county of Lincoln. The Intelli- 
gencer pronounces these stories as entirely fabulous as far as they 
concern Jaiokson because contradicted by history; and if not impos- 


sible as they relate to Graham, altogether incapable of haying their 
truth ascertained since history had not deigned to mention him at 
all. The editors then proceed in a vein of very great merriment! 
to consign him to ohlivion loaded with such a weight of ridicule as 
practiced pens are enabled to educe from the familiar contraction of 
his name in which the old matron Indulges herself, her descrip- 
tion of his dress, and his supposed puissance in encountering the 
enemy, and being classics they conclude the strain with a derisive 
application of the hackneyed verse of Horace: 

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona Multi, etc.. 

Perhaps it may turn out that the brave men who lived before 
Agamemnon had this advantage over their successors in 1780-81 that 
if they have been doom'ed to sleep unknown in the long night of 
ages for want of the sacer vates (the truthful author), to embalm 
their deeds, they have been at least exempted from the persecutions 
of the buffoons of literature; who beyond the narrow circle in which 
they chose to minister as the dispensers of fame will not suffer a 
violet to spring from the grave of a hero without plucking it up 
and casting it away. 

All this is done as the critique declares according tO' the most ap- 
proved "rules of historical criticism, with great zeal for truth" and 
after a professed examination of the history of that period. In- 
deed it was to have been presumed in common charity that such a 
course of derision and insult would hairdly have been indulged by 
those professing to give information to the public without having 
had recourse to the best sources of intelligence and finding them to 
Justify them. "Its truth (say the editors), there was no ascertain- 
ing but at least we thought we might be able to satisfy ourselves 
of the possibility though not the reality of the facts; so we consid- 
ered. But could find no trace of such character in history con- 
sulted and remembered." 

Now after all this those who have read the article of Tfie Intelli- 
gencer will readily agree that if any such person as "Jo. Graham" 
did in fact exist he was never in greater danger of annihilation 
from the sabers of Tarleton's dragoons than Is his memory from the 
sneers of these critics of The National Intelligencer. How much 
they "considered and remembered" there is no "ascertaining." Nor 
is It very apparent how either process would have helped them to 
facts which it is very evident were never within their knowledge; 



though -with their pretensions on the subject they should have been. 
But they also "consulted." With whom? Certainly with no one 
having the slightest acquaintance with the traditions of the Revo- 
lution in western North Carolina. The gallant defense of Charlotte 
by Davie with but little more than two hundred men against the 
approach of the whole British army, his driving back the column 
of horse in the three several charges which they made and keeping 
them at bay until Comwallis advanced in person to his cavalry, re- 
proached them with cowardice and by re-enforcements of superior 
numbers compelled our troops at last to recede from the unequal 
contest, are remembered by the people of that region with a pride 
bordering on enthusiasm. And the part borne by Graham in that 
action at the head of the volunteers in Mecklenburg; his command 
of the reserve on the retreat, his being wounded and left for dead 
about four miles from the village on the Salisbury road, are as 
familiarly known to the people of the western section of the State 
as the defeat of Ferguson at King's Mountain, of the fall of David- 
son at the passage of the Catawba. It m'ay be safely said that it is 
more generally known. The events occurred in his own home in 
defense of that village in which five years before while quite a youth 
he had witnessed the Declaration of Independence Dy the people of 
Mecklenburg, in a county which he afterwards represented in the 
Legislature of the State and in both of the conventions which de- 
liberated on the adoption of the Federal Constitution by North Caro- 
lina; in a region of country where he ever after resided and wore 
the scars of the wounds received then, and whose military forces 
he commanded in the capacity of brigadier general in 1814 when 
they confederated with General Jackson in the subjugation of the 
Creek Indians. It is to be regretted for the sake of peace to his 
ashes that some position of his public services had not brought him 
to the notice of the editors of The Intelligencer. 

It may be asking too much of those who discoursed so much of 
muses and poets to consult muster rolls and public records for the 
evidences of reality of one whom they are determined to consider 
as mere nom de guerre. But what historian have they "consulted" 
who furnishes a decent excuse for the mockery with which they 
have treated his memory? Is there any who professes to give de- 
tails of the action at Charlotte in which the name of Graham is not 
mentioned? "Lee's Memoirs of the War in the South," written by 
an officer of distinction who joined the Southern sei^ce soon after 
the affair at Charlotte and who becatme well acquainted with the 


officers engaged in it says that on the approach of Cornwallis to- 
wards Charlotte General Sumner, who had been encamped at Provi- 
dence, "retired on the nearest road to Salisbury, leaving Col. Davie, 
strengthened by a few volunteers under Major Graham, to observe 
the movements of the enemy. * * * Davie, relying on the firm- 
ness of the troops, determined to give them (the British) am earnest 
of the spirit of the country into which they had entered. * * * 
His infantry also, dismounted with Graham's volunteers were ad- 
vanced 80 yards in front on each side of the street covered with 
enclosures of the village. ^ * * Lieutenant Locke and five pri- 
vates were killed and Major Graham and twelve men wounded." 

The account is too long to be here copied at length, but will repay 
perusal by those feeling any interest in the subject. It will show 
that the "midwife," though professing no familiarity with the muse, 
is far better sustained by her than The National Intelligencer which 
affects to speak in her nalme. Her mistake as to the rank held by 
Graham at that time goes but to corroborate the general evidence of 
one who had known him in every grade from a sergeant to the head 
of a battalion. Your correspondent never saw Mrs. Alexander and 
knows nothing of her habits of life which are detailed with some 
minuteness in connection with these sketches of the Revolution, 
though from the earliest recollection he has heard of her kind mln- 
isterings to the wounded officer on the 26th of September, 1780, and 
has been taught to cherish for her an hereditary gratitude and 
affection. He well rem^emibers that in September, 1836, but a month 
before the death of Gen. Graham on the anniversary of the invasion 
of Charlotte, it was adverted to in conversation with him and he 
acknowledged the hospitality and assistance received at the hands 
of these benevolent females in terms not materially variant from 
that portion of the narrative of the "Sketches." 

I have no information respecting the other subjects of the 
sketches, but am very far from concurring with the opinion of 
The Intelligencer that the truth of that is impossible. Time is very 
often not mateiiai in determining the actual occurrence of facts. 
The Waxhaws are not more than a day's journey and it would have 
been no difficult undertaking at any period of alarm for Mrs. Jack- 
son to have fled with her family to the house of Mr. Alexander as 
these sketches affirm. Besides The Intelligencer seems to be igno- 
rant of the fact that Lord Cornwallis remained at Charlotte but 
fifteen or twenty days. When hearing of the defeat of Ferguson he 
decamped in the night, retreated to Camden (Winnsboro), and did 


not return to North Carolina until December following; so that 
there could have been no necessity for Mrs. Jackson's fleeing "fur- 
ther and faster" into Guilford at that time. And it is no very 
violent conjecture to suppose that she may have lingered a few 
weeks in Mecklenburg before going to Guilford. I go not however 
into that. I have reluctantly asked the indulgence of your columns 
to expose a great injustice to one whose character is esteemed a 
richer legacy than any inheritance he has left to his children; that 
done my end is accomplished. G-. 

August 15 1845. 


Tradition says that when Cornwallis retreated from 
Charlotte October 14th, 1780, he and Tarleton camped 
at the house of Robert Wilson, in the Steele Creek con- 
gregation, who was then a prisoner in the hands of the 
British. He and seven sons belonged to a Mecklen- 
burg command of General Sumter's forces. Lord Corn- 
wallis endeavored to persuade Mrs. Wilson to influence 
her husband and sons to join the Royal standard as 
the way to rank, honor and wealth, promising, if she 
would pledge herself to do so he would immediately 
order the discharge of her husband. She replied: "I 
have seven sons who are now or have been bearing arms ; 
indeed, my seventh son, Zaccheus, who is only fifteen 
years old, I yesterday assisted to get ready and go to 
join his; brothers in Sumter's army. Now, sooner than 
see one of my family turn back from the glorious enter- 
prise, I would take these boys (pointing to three or 
four small sons) and would myself enlist under Sum- 
ter's standard and show my husband and sons how to 
fight; and, if necessary, how to die for their country." 

"Ah, General," interrupted Tarleton, "I think you 
have got into a hornet's nest. Never mind; when we 


get to Camden I'll take good care that old Kobin Wilson 
never gets back." 


Oornwallis pronounced this the "most rebellious" sec- 
tion in America. 

No regular army was quartered in these counties, but 
every man was a soldier cantonned out with wife or 
parent, ready to respond at his own expense to a call 
for service, to prevent the enemy's entrance, to drive 
him from its borders and to pursue him elsewhere or 
to suppress local disloyalty. It would be interesting 
to preserve the deeds of valor of these heroes obtained 
from historical records and tradition, but the limits of 
this work does not permit more extended notice than 
is connected with its subject. 

In patriotism they were "chief among their Peers." 

The public sentiment of this section is thus noted in 
Lieutenant-Colonel B. Tarleton's Campaigns of 1780 
and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America; 
London^ 1787. 


Charlotte town affords some conveniences, blended mth great dis- 
advantages. The mills in its neighborhood were supposed of sufB,- 
cient consequence to render It for the present an eligible position, 
and in future a necessary post when the army advanced. But the 
aptness of its Intermediate situation between Camden and Salisbury 
and the quantity of its mills did not counterbalance its defects. 
The town and environs abounded with inveterate enemies. The 
plantations in the neighborhood were smaJl and uncultivated; the 
roads narrow and crossed in every direction; and the whole face 
of the country covered with close and thick woods. In addition to 
these disadvantages, no estimation could be made of the sentiments 
of half the inhabitants of North Carolina whilst the royal army 


remained at Charlotte town. It waa evident and it had frequently 
been mentioned to the King's officers that the counties of Mecklen- 
burg and Rowan were more hostile to England than any others in 
America. The vigilance and animosity of these surrounding dis- 
tricts checked the exertions of the well affected and totally de- 
stroyed all communication between the Kings' troops and the loyal- 
ists in the other parts of the province. No British commander 
could obtain any information in that position which would facili- 
tate his designs, or guide his future conduct- E^fe^y report con- 
cerning the measures of the governor and assembly would un- 
doubtedly be ambiguous; accounts of the preparations of the mili- 
tia could only be vague and uncertain; and all intelligence of the 
real force and movements of the continentals must be totally unat- 

The foraging parties were every day harassed by the inhabitants 
who did not remain at home to receive payment for the produce of 
their plantations, but generally fired from covert places to annoy 
the British detachments. Ineffectual attempts were made upon con- 
voys coming from Camden and the intermediate post at Blair's 
mill; but individuals with expresses were frequently murdered. 
An attack was directed against the picket at Polk's mill, two miles 
from town. The Americans were gallantly received by Lieutenant 
Guyon, of the 23rd regiment; and the fire of his party from a loop- 
holed building adjoining the m'ill repulsed the assailants. Not- 
withstanding the different checks and losses sustained by the mili- 
tia of the district, they continued their hostilities with unwearied 
perseverance; and the British troops were so effectually blockaded 
In their present position that very few out of a great number of 
messengers could reach Charlotte town in the beginning of Octo- 
ber to give Intelligence of "Ferguson's situation." * * * 

The destruction of Ferguson and his corps (in the battle of King's 
Mountain, October 7, 1780) marked the period and extent of the 
first expedition into North Carolina. Added to the depression and 
fear it communicated to the loyalists upon the borders and to the 
southward, the effect of such an important event was sensibly felt 
by Earl Cornwallis at Charlotte town. * * * 

A farther progress by the route which he had undertaken could 
not possibly remove, but would undoubtedly increase his difficul- 
ties; he therefore formed a sudden determination to quit Charlotte 
town and pass the Catawba river. 

Accordingly he fell back hurriedly from Charlotte on the night 


of the 1401 of October, "leaving behind twenty wagons loaded with 
supplies for the army, a printing press, and other stores belonging 
to public departments, and the knapsacks of the light infantry and 
legion." To reach the river they had to cut their way through 
"the Mecklenburg militia, who, supposing the cavalry still absent, 
attempted to harass the head of the column." 

Extracts from letters of Lord Comwallis, giving ac- 
count of passing the Catawba at Cowan's Ford and 
march to the Yadkin River : 

"The Militia of the rebellious counties of Rohan (Rowan) and 
Mecklenburg under General Davidson." 

"We met with no further opposition on our march to the Yadkin 
through one of the most rebellious tracts in America." 


At the close of the Revolutionary War, General Gra- 
ham was appointed Commissioner for Mecklenburg 
County to collect and sell government property. He 
acted as such in 1783-'4. 

I have obtained from the State Treasurer's office the 
following return of two of his sales: 

Capt. James Knox, 66 bushels of wheat 72 

Capt. William B. Alexander, 250 lbs. of Flower, 4 L. 

10 S. Per C. . . . .■ , '... 11 

Arthur Garrison, 250 lbs. of Flower @ 6 S. Per C. . . 15 

Hugh Reynolds, 323 @ 6 L. Per C 19 

James McNeely, 1 Musqult 3 

James Henry, 1 Rifle Gun 23 

William Raison, Musquit 

Thomas Polk, 4 Gun Barrels 

William Driskill, 4 Gun Barrels 

David Freeman, Ditto 

Thomas Polk, Do 

William Alexander, Do 














L. S. D. 

David Freeman. Do. 10 

James Tagert, Do 10 

Hugh Pollock, Do 14 

William Driskill, Do 14 

Hugh. Pollock ,8 Gun Barrels 2 3 

Thomas Polk, 4 Do 1 10 

David McCrea, 8 Do 2 10 

William Wily, Bayonets 2 

Charles Patton, Bayonets & Gun locks 8 

Robt. Clark, Bayonets 6 

Wm. Henry, Gunlocks 3 

Tunis Hood, Brass 1 1 

Hugh Pollock, Gun Locks 11 

Charles Alexander, Gun Mounting & Bayonets 9 

Jno. McCrea, Gunlocks 3 

Hugh Pollock, Gun mounting 6 

William Wily, Gun Mounting X 1 

Hugh Pollock, Gunlocks 16 

162 07 6 

Deduct Commissions 2% Per Cent 4 1 2 

158 6 4 

MARCH 12, 1784. 

L. S. D. 

Wm. Paterson, one Musquit 11 

Henry Syren, 1 Do. & Cartridge Box 2 6 

Jno. Haris, 1 Musquit & Cartridge Box 8 

Jos. Kinon, 1 Do 15 

Saml. McCombs, 1 Do , 13 

John Harris, Four Wagon Wheels 70 5 

Wm. Query, Smith Tools 16 10 

Jno. Nelson, Dutch oven 4 12 

Henry Syren, Do 2 11 

Saml. Wilson, 2 Do 2 2 6 

Alexander Johnson, old Wagon 67 8 

169 1 6 

Deduct Commission 2% Per Cent 4 4 6 

164 17 6 


Sold at Vendue part of the Smith Tools for Money 

to Wm. Query 1 5 

Paid Jno. McNit for hauling old guns , . . 14 

The Cryer 6 and Clerk 5 11 

State of North Carolina, Dbtr. to Joseph Graham, Commissioner of 
Mecklenburg County. 

To himself, horse & Expenses in Collecting, removing the above 
articles twenty-one Days @ 10 S. per day — L. 10 10 0. 
Rowan County. Jos-eph Graham, Esq., made Oath that the above 

is a true Return of the public property which has come into his 

hands in the County of Mecklenburg as County Commissioner and 

of his own tim'e in Collecting the same. 
Sworn March 27, 1784 

Before me, Wnx Cathet, Jurat. 

Memo. Charge Jos. Graham with the Amt. of these sales. 

Mr. Graham has paid the above to Wm. Lock, District Treasurer. 

After the Kevolutionary War, under the confedera- 
tion before the adoption of the United States Consti- 
tution, forbidding anything but gold and silver coin 
being made a "legal tender," many persons kept quires 
of bills of different amounts on hand, and in paying an 
obligation simply numbered and signed the bill. To 
abolish this custom was one cause of the "specie pay- 
ment" provision being placed in the Federal Constitu- 
tion. The following are copies of some of these bills 
General Graham had prepared for use. They ran in 
value from four pence to seven shilling six pence, and 
perhaps higher. Each bill amounting to one shilling 
or more in value had a stub attached to it like those 
on checks or receipts of this time, which the payer could 
retain as evidence of the debt. 



Judging from the number of these bills it is probable 
a large part of them were prepared for making change 
in settlements as United Statesi Commissioner and 


On demand I promife to pay 
the bearer hereof, the fum of 

Four Pence, 

it being for value received, as 
witnefs my hand. 

a -9'»floe^A^^£Ks^'ey.9'&aeg^ L 

Jo ^^s^oe^xa/.g^aQg'Qy ^ 


On demand I promife to pay 
to the bearer hereof, the fam of 

One Shilling, 

it being for value received, as 
witnefs my hand. 

S £^SG^e^S,&&SG^Q.^o&2'3^^S/?/&S^? •'5 ^3/&&2/S^i^&£>SXi,e^^^^&&2&^^Sy^&Z&Q^ W 




U On demand I promife to pay 
g to the bearer hereof, the fum of 

§ Seven Shillings & Six Pence 
7/6 g it being for value received, as 
witnefs my hand. 



He was Sheriff of Mecklenburg Oounty, which then 
embraced Cabarrus and a portion of what is now Union, 
in 1784-'5. The Sheriff at that time was recommended 
annually at the June meeting by the Justices of the 
Peace of a county, and was commissioned by the Gov- 
ernor. The State taxes of Mecklenburg in 1786 were 
£4,830, 12s. lid. In 1803 the act requiring the Gov- 
ernor to commission the sheriffs was repealed. After 
election, upon filing an acceptable bond, Graham en- 
tered upon the duties of his office. 


1. He was a member of the first convention of the 
State to consider the proposed Constitution of the Uni- 
ted States, which met at Hillsboro, July 21, 1788. This 
was his first experience in a legislative or deliberative 
assiembly. He took no part in the debates. It seems to 
have been from the first assembling of the convention 
the determination of a large majority of the members 
to take no action upon the question of adoption or re- 
jection, but to wait for amendments. A few leaders on 
each side debated the question. Among those who ad- 
vocated adoption were General Davie, Judge Iredell, 
Governor Johnston, Arch. McLean, John Steele, R. D. 
Speight and others. Those who opposed ratification 
were Judge Spencer, Dr. Caldwell, Eev. L. Burkitt, 
Joseph McDowell, Colonel Lenoir, General Eutherford 
and Mr. Galloway. A motion for ratification had been 
made, which was the basis of discussion. After several 


days of debate, Mr. Willie Jones, who was the real leader 
of the opposition, although he took no part in the de- 
bate, as a test, moved the "previous question." This 
prevailed — ayes 183, noes 84. The question on the mo- 
tion to ratify was not put. Governor Johnston re- 
marked that simply ordering the previous question de- 
termined nothing. Mr. Jones replied that "that was 
the object of the motion to neither ratify nor reject the 
Constitution. We can get our amendments and then 
come into the Union when we please." He then offered 
the following resolution : 

Resolved, That a Declaration of Rights asserting and securing 
from encroachment the great principles of religious and civil lib- 
erty and the unalienahle rights of the people together with amend- 
ments to the most ambiguous and exceptional parts of the said Con- 
stitutional Government ought to be laid before Congress and the 
Convention of the States that shall or may be called for the purpose 
of amending the said constitution for their consideration previous 
to the ratification of said constitution on the part of the State of 
North Carolina- 
He annexed to this a "Bill of Rights" in twenty sec- 
tions. Afterwards he offered twenty-six amendments 
to the Constitution. Judge Iredell offered as a substi- 
tute for these a motion to ratify the Constitution and a 
proposal of six amendments. The substitute was re- 
jected by a vote of 184 to 84. 

The following resolution was then adopted : 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Legislature of this State 
that ■whenever Congress shall pass a law for collecting an im'post 
in the States aforesaid, this State enact a law for collecting a simi- 
lar impost on goods imported into this State and appropriate the 
money arising therefrom to the use of Congress. 

The President was directed to notify the other States 
of the action of this State upon the Constitution. Major 


Graham supported and voted for all of Mr. Jones' 

This Convention is generally referred to as rejecting 
the Constitution, it neither rejected nor ratified it. 

This Convention authorized and directed the Legis- 
lature to locate a place for the meetings of the General 
Assembly and residence for the chief officers of the State. 
It was composed of five members from each county. It 
met in the old Church of England house which stood 
upon the site of the present Presbyterian Church in 

2. The Convention of 1789 which ratified the Consti- 
tution. He was a member of this Convention also ; which 
was composed of five members from each county. At 
the session of the Legislature in 1788 as Senator from 
Mecklenburg, he had voted for its call. It assembled at 
Fayetteville November 16, 1789, during the session of 
the Legislature. He, with many others, had been elected 
a member of each body. Some amendments were pro- 
posed to be adopted by Congress before the Constitution 
was ratified ; but after several days discussion in "com- 
mittee of the whole" they were rejected by a large ma- 
jority and the following resolution was adopted: 

Whekeas, The General Convention whicli met at Philadelphia in 
pursuance of a recommendation of Congress did recommend to the 
citizens of the United State, a Constitution or form of government 
in the following words, viz. (here follows the Constitution). 
' Resolved, That this Convention, in behalf of the freemen, citizens 
and inhabitants of the State of North Carollina, do adopt and ratify 
the said Constitution and form of government. Ayes 194, Noes 77. 

Major Graham, like many others who had opposed 
ratification the year previous, now voted for it. A com- 
mittee was appointed which proposed eight amendments 


to the Constitution to be submitted to Congress; they 
were approved by the Convention. An ordinance was 
passed allowing the town of Fayetteville a "borough" 
member of the Legislature. The other borough towns 
were Edenton, Halifax, Hillsborough, New Bern, Salis- 
bury and Wilmington. These towns each elected a mem- 
ber of the House of Commons (Representatives) of the 
Legislature independent of the counties in which they 
were located and these elections were legalized by the 
Convention which adopted the Constitution in 1776. 
The proceedings of this Convention were filed in the 
office of the Secretary of State in manuscript. 


He was elected a member of the State Senate from 
Mecklenburg County for the years 1788-'89-'90-'91-'92. 
These Assemblies had much to do with laying the foun- 
dation upon which the system of our State Government 
has been built. He was neither an idle nor an ineffi- 
cient representative of the people. 


It convened at Fayetteville on the 3rd day of Novem- 
ber. This was the last Senate in which the Senators 
wore their hats while in session, the President or 
Speaker being "uncovered" and a member "uncovering" 
while speaking. 

There were no standing committees, but Committees 
on (1) Proposition and Grievances; (2) Claims; (3) 
What Bills of a Public Nature are necessary to be En- 
acted; and (4) Public Revenue, were ordered at each 
session and members of each named. As measures were 


referred to Committees, the motion for a reference named 
the Committee. 

The first bill Graham introduced was to confirm title 
to certain negroes and prevent unjust law suits. 

It is historical, and is as follows (Chap. 3, Laws of 
1788) : 

Whereas, In the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
one, sundry of the citizens of this State did enlist in the service of 
the State of South Carolina, in the brigade commonly called the 
State troops, comm'anded by brigadier-general Sumter, and several 
of them agreeable to their enlistment and service did draw negroes, 
one for each private soldier, and ofllcers in proportion to their 
rank, which negroes were at that time taken from the disaffected 
citizens of said State by order of general Sumter, for that purpose; 
and the general assembly ,of the State of South Carolina did since, 
to-wit, on the twenty-first day of March, one thousand seven hun- 
dred and eighty-four, pass an ordinance to indemnify brigadier- 
general Sumter, and the officers acting under his command during 
the British invasion, in the second section of which ordinance it is 
ordained, "that in all cases where any property hath been taken 
from any person resident in said State, and appropriated to the 
public use by order of the said brigadier-general Thomas Sumter, 
such person or persons shall apply for redress to the legislature, 
and not elsewhere; yet the disaffected citizens of that State, from' 
whom those negroes were taken, have since instituted sundry suits 
against the citizens aforesaid of this State, for recovery of said 
negroes. For remedy whereof, 

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North 
Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of same, That 
where any citizen of this State shall have actually served In the 
aforesaid brigade, and drawn a negro or negroes for said service, 
if there is or hereafter shall be any suit or suits for said negroes 
commenced against them, or any of them, or any person or persons 
claiming by, from or under them, or any of them, on the fact being 
proved to the satisfaction of the court and jury trying the cause, 
that such negro or negroes were regularly drawn in consequence of 
said service, a verdict and judgment shall be given for the defen- 
dants; any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding 
Provided, nevertheless, That nothing herein contained shall be 


construed to vest the property of any negro or negroes taken by 
any person or persons of the aforesaid brigade, and not specially 
delivered to the said troops for their pay in the manner aforesaid 
for said service. And provided also. That nothing herein contained 
shall preclude citizens of other States, except those of South Caro- 
lina, from recovering their negroes, if any may have been taken 
for the purposes aforesaid, who have not applied to the State of 
South Carolina agreeable to the directions of the .aforesaid ordi- 
nance for satisfaction, and received the same." 

The second bill was to alter the mode of swearing 
petit jurors in this State — viz. : They had been sworn 
heretofore on each case they considered. The act pro- 
vided for swearing them at the beginning for all cases 
tried at the term. It is in the following words : 

"Whereas, the present method practised in the courts of law in 
this State of swearing the petit jury in every cause, in some 
measure retards the business in said courts and such frequent use 
of oaths in a great measure destroys their solemnity. 

"I. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the State 
of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the 
same. That from and after the first day of June next, the clerks 
of the respective courts of law, shall at the beginning of their 
courts, swear or cause to affirm such of the petit jury as are of 
the original panel, well and truly to try all civil causes that shall 
come before them' according to the evidence given thereon, and if 
there should not be enough of the original panel, talismen shall 
take a similar oath or affirmation to try such causes as shall come 
before them during the day. Provided always, anything herein 
contained shall not be so construed as to prevent the usual chal- 
lenges in law to the whole of the jury so sworn, or any of the said 
jurors, and if by reason of such challenges any juror or jurors 
shall be withdrawn, his or their place on such jury shall and may 
be supplied by any of the original venire, or of the by standers; 
by law qualiiied to serve on any jury within this State, and further, 
that nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter the 
present method of swearing petit jurors on State trials, but the 
same shall continue in the usual form as heretofore practised." 


He voted for a "new Convention" for the purpose of 
reconsidering the "new Constitution held out by the 
Federal Convention as a government for the United 
States," which was adopted by, Ayes, 30; Noes, 15; 
seconded Mr. Willie Jones' bill providing the machinery 
for the election of delegates to the Convention at the 
State election in August, 1789, and for the assembling 
of the Convention, but voted against an amendment to 
hold the election in December, 1788, and to increase the 
number of delegates for each County from 3 to 5. He 
opposed the bill establishing the seat of government for 
the State. Each Legislature fixed the place of meeting 
for the next, and the Governor and the State officers had 
no specified place of residence. 

He favored the bill for cutting a navigable canal from 
the waters of Pasquotank River, in this State, to Eliza- 
beth River, in the State of Virginia. This was after- 
wards done and is now the Chesapeake and Albemarle 
Canal. He was, during his whole life, an earnest advo- 
cate of internal improvements by the State. In ceding 
the territory now embraced in the State of Tennessee, he 
favored making the Cumberland, instead of the Appa- 
lachian or Alleghany Mountains the boundary. He 
favored the amendment "John Sevier excepted"* to the 
bill granting "pardon and consigning to oblivion the 
offences and misconduct" of the persons who supported 
the organization of the State of Franklin, and demanded 
the ayes and nays upon its passage. The ayes and nays 
seem to have been taken as the National House of Rep- 

*Jolm Sevier had organized the State of Franklin In 1785, which emhraced 
what Is now Tennessee. It continued until 1788. In 1789 the Lesislature granted 
him amnesty and he was admitted as a mpmber from Washington county. He 
was afterwards the first Governor of Tennessee. 



resentatives now "divides" with tellers. The name was 
recorded as the members passed between the tellers 
without regard to alphabetical or district arrangement. 

We find among the proceedings: an act for the relief of 
Sheriffs, allowing them to collect arrears of taxes. This 
seems to have been re-enacted at every succeeding Legis- 
lature up to this time and was probably by every pre- 
ceding Legislature. There was also an act extending 
the time for registration of deeds. Such acts were 
passed by every Legislature until 1883, and clouded 
all titles to real estate in the State. 

Members who failed to be present at the opening of the 
Legislature were required to give a satisfactory excuse 
for their absence or to pay a fine "of five pounds and 
also twenty shillings for each day absent, the same to 
be deducted from his compensation." A committee was 
appointed to report upon the absentees. Claims, when 
presented to the Legislature, were to be accompanied by 
an oath that they had not been rejected by the Auditor, 
Comptroller or any committee of the General Assembly. 

Every County had a Court of Common Pleas and 
Quarter Sessions. The Superior Courts were called Dis- 
trict Courts and were somewhat like the present United 
States Courts, several counties composing a district and 
the jurors being distributed by law to the respective 
counties. Jails, stocks and whipping-posts were at the 
district court-house and frequently they were the only 
ones in the district. The Legislature resolved that the 
United States Government could make no treaties with 
^he Indians within its bounds without the consent of the 
The tax on slaves imported, which had been 2^ per cent 


of value, was, in 1786, raised to 10 per cent. A vessel 
sailing in October would return from Africa in May with 
a cargo of slaves. The owners of several v^sels which 
were absent when the change was made petitioned to be 
allowed to pay the rate of tax existing when they sailed. 

The exportation of hides, pieces of hides of black cat- 
tle, calf skins, beaver, raccoon and fox furs was pro- 

There seems to have been usually but one place of elec- 
tion in a county, and that was located at the court-house. 

An act was passed to prohibit the importation of 
slaves into this State from States which emancipated 

In court proceedings prior to this where there were 
two or more names to a writ or summons the same 
paper was to be sent to each party without regard to 
residence. By the act of this session a copy could be 
sent to each person who was a party in the suit. 


Mr. Person submitted the following report from the 
committee on Proposition and Grievances, December 

"That the said John Devane and Richard Herring 
drew from the Treasurer of this State the sum of one 
thousand pounds to enable them to carry on a gun man- 
ufactury in the district of Wilmington — that by re- 
ceipts from proper officers it appears they delivered one 
hundred muskets with bayonets, three rifles and six 
smooth guns — that afterwards the said factory with a 


quantity of gun barrels was destroyed by the Tories 
and by the accidents of war the vouchers of the applica- 
tion of the aforesaid money have been lost and the said 
petitioners prevented from settling for the same. The 
committee, from these circumstances, are induced to 
recommend that the said accounts be closed." 

There were Engrossing but no Enrolling clerks. 

Seven members were required to form a quorum of 
any committee unless otherwise specified. 

At the close of the session all bills approved during its 
continuance were reported and ratified. 


Section XV of the Declaration of Rights adopted by 
the Convention which organized the State of North 
Carolina in December, 1776, named as the western 
boundary of the State that granted by King Charles II 
in the charter to the Lords Proprietors, which boundary 
was the South Sea or Pacific Ocean. The Treaty of 
Peace with Great Britain in 1783 made the Mississippi 
River the boundary. The State or Province of North 
Carolina never exercised any jurisdiction west of the 
Mississippi River. 

There was a proviso to section XV, "that it shall not 
be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one 
or more governments westward of this State by consent 
of the Legislature." In June, 1784, the Legislature 
(Chapter 11, Laws 1784) ceded most of what is now 
Tennessee to Congress, which was to be with similar 
grants by other States a common fund for the use and 
benefit of the confederation or Federal Alliance. 


Chapter 12, Laws 1784, retained North Carolina's 
sovereignty and jurisdiction over this territory until 
Congress should act upon the matter. There were two 
Legislatures in 1784. One convened at Hillsboro April- 
June; the other sat at New Bern, October-November. 
The latter repealed the act of cession of the former 
(Chapter 16) giving as a reason the conduct of the 
States of Massachusetts and Connecticut. It is gener- 
ally stated in histories that Congress declined to accept 
this territory. This is an error. 

Section I of the repealing act is as follows : "Whereas, 
at the last General Assembly began and held at Hills- 
boro on the nineteenth day of April last an act was 
passed ceding to the Congress of the United States cer- 
tain western lands therein described and authorizing 
the delegates from this State in Congress to execute a 
deed or deeds for the same, which territory, when ceded, 
was to be considered as a common fund for the use and 
benefit of such of the United American States as now 
are or shall become members of the Confederation or 
federal alliance; and whereas, the cession so intended 
was made in full confidence that the whole expense of 
the Indian expeditions and militia aids to the States 
of South Carolina and Georgia should pass to account 
in our quota of the continental expenses incurred in 
the late war; and also that the other States holding 
western territory would make similar cessions and that 
all the States would unanimously grant imposts of five 
per cent as the common fund for the discharge of the 
federal debt; and whereas, the States of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut, after accepting the cession of New 


York and Virginia, have since put in claims for the 
whole or a large part of that territory and all the above 
expected measures for constituting a substantial com- 
mon fund have been either frustrated or delayed." 

Section II repeals the act. 

The people of the territory proposed to be ceded com- 
plained that the State did not give them protection 
against the Indians or afford reasonable redress in the 
courts; as they were in the Morganton district and the 
courts were held at Morganton. This Legislature 
(Chapter 28) created the district of Washington, com- 
posed of the counties embraced in this territory, and or- 
ganized the militia into a brigade, of which Sevier was 
placed in command. 

Expecting Congress to accept the State's offer, a Con- 
vention was called, which met at Jonesboro, August 23, 
1784, which issued an address to the people and ad- 
jonmed until November; upon meeting then, and learn- 
ing the action of the Legislature, it adjourned in con- 
fusion. Another Convention met December 14th, to 
which, on its assembling, Sevier read a letter from 
Joseph Martin, who had attended the session of the 
Legislature, naming the acts passed for their relief; 
told them that their grievances had been redressed and 
advised a cessation of all acts to obtain a separation 
from North Carolina. The Convention, however, formed 
a constitution, which was to be submitted to a new 
Convention called to convene November, 1785. 

In January, 1785, a Legislature met at Greenville, 
formed a State government, elected Sevier Governor, 
with a full complement of officers, including judiciary 


and militia. The State was to be called Franklin, in 
honor of Dr. Benjamin Franklin. In April Governor 
Caswell issued a proclamation "against this lawless 
thirst for power," and threatened punishment if per- 
sisted in. The Convention which convened on Novem- 
ber rejected the proposed constitution and adopted that 
of North Carolina. There were dual governments in 
all the counties ; courts were held both by the authority 
of North Carolina and of Franklin and were disturbed 
or broken up by opposing factions; the militia was en- 
rolled in the same manner. This state of affairs contin- 
ued to exist until September, 1787, when the Legislature 
of Franklin convened for the last time; it authorized 
the election of two members to the Legislature of North 
Carolina. The counties in Franklin had elected mem- 
bers to every session of the North Carolina Legislature. 

Colonel John Tipton was commander of militia in 
this territory by virtue of North Carolina authority. 
He led the opponents of the followers of Sevier and 
Franklin and had frequent encounters with those acting 
under their authority. In 1787 Judge Spencer, at Jones- 
boro, issued a "bench warrant" against Sevier for high 
treason. In October Cols. Tipton, Love and others ar- 
rested him and brought him to Morganton. 

While on parole to secure bail, he, by aid of his sons, 
escaped from custody. The State had passed acts of 
amnesty "to pardon and consign to oblivion" all acts 
in regard to the Franklin movement in 1786 (Chapter 
23) and again in 1787 (Chapter 27). By the act of 
1788 (Chapter 4) the offenders were required to take 
the oath of allegiance before the Judge of the Wash- 


ington district or some county court of that district 
within three mouths from its ratification. By a pro- 
viso, amnesty was excluded from acts committed after 
that time. General Lenoir, when the bill was on its 
passage in the Senate, offered an amendment exclud- 
ing Sevier from its benefits in the words "John Sevier 
excepted" ; this was defeated, ayes 19, noes 24. Wheeler 
states this amendment was adopted, but he is in error. 
In 1789 Sevier was elected Senator from the county 
of Washington and served as such, taking the oath of 
office November 7th of that year. This Legislature re- 
pealed the proviso as to "pardon and oblivion," but it 
had no reference to Sevier. He was elected to Congress 
from the Tennessee district in 1790. This year North 
Carolina ceded Tennessee to the United States. It was 
admitted as a State in 1796. Sevier was its first Gov- 
ernor, and was re-elected twelve times. He was twice 
elected a member of the House of Representatives from 
a Tennessee district. He was a gallant officer of the 
Revolutionary War, and was one of the heroes of Kings 
Mountain. He was also very active and efficient in 
suppressing depredations of the Indians in the moun- 
tain country. Richardson, in his Messages and Papers 
of the Presidents, says the proposed State of Franklin 
embraced what is now fifteen counties in Virginia, six 
in West Virginia, one-third of Kentucky, one-half of 
Tennessee, two-thirds of Alabama and one-fourth Of 
Georgia. North Carolina had no jurisdiction except 
over the portion proposed to be taken from its territory. 



Convened at Fayettewlle, November 2, 1789. 

The "rules" forbade wearing hats while in session, 
and the last rule was changed to read, "When the House 
adjourns no member shall walk out before the Speaker." 

General Graham introduced a bill for processioning 
lands, which was referred to Special Committee, amend- 
ed and enacted. 

On November 16th the Legislature adjourned six days 
(thrice for two days) to allow the Convention to convene 
and transact its business. 

The Convention met at Payetteville and adopted the 
Constitution of the United States. 

General Graham introduced a bill to provide a manner 
of choosing Senators, which was enacted, and was a 
"teller" of the first election of United States Senators. 

A Committee of Finance wasi authorized this session. 
He was assigned to it and placed on the sub-Committee 
to examine the Treasurer's accounts and the business of 
revenue ; also on due bills received by the late Treasurer 
and public debtors. 

He opposed the bill paying domestic debts at the rate 
of four shillings per pound, and reducing the outstand- 
ing paper money, and entered for himself and others the 
following protest against its enactment — viz. : 

"Dissentient: 1st. Because this State has or will obtain a 
credit for the full sum with the United States, for most of the 
vouchers on which the said certificates werei issued to our own citi- 
zens, for which by the aforesaid act they are only to receive four 
shillings in the p,ound. 

"2nd. Because it is a violation of the public faith, that would 
prevent us from having the confidence of our citizens, if ever it 
should again be required for the public welfare, therefore must be 
as impolitic as it is unjust. 


"3dly. Because it is expressly contrary to the tenth section of 
the first article of the Constitution of the United States — viz.. That 
no State shall pass laws imtiairing the obligations of contracts — 
and our certificate debt is at least a public contract. It is also 
contrary to the example held out by the sixth article of the said 
constitution, viz. That all debts contracted, and engagements en- 
tered into previous to the adoption of said constitution, should be 
equally binding as they were under the confederation, and that 
so unjust a measure is unprecedented by any of the States. 

"4th. Because the certificate given to the oflBcers and soldiers 
of the late North Carolina line are included in the act, and make 
the greater part of the certificates in circulation^ and it may be 
remembered that it was optional with them at the end of the war, 
whether they settled with this State or with Congress, who would 
have paid them, the full sum. 

"5tb. Because this widows and orphans of many active citizens 
who furnished supplies; perhaips the greatest part of tlheir proi>erty, 
and who have died in their country's service, are now deprived of 
four-fifths of their just rights. 

"6th. Because it gives the advantage to the disaffected and in- 
active part of our citizens in the late contest, who neither fur- 
nished supplies nor performed services to procure certificates and 
therefore ought to pay their quota of the domestic debt, as they 
enjoy equai advantages, and vice versa, takes from our active citi- 
zens what tbey have furnished and served over their proportion in 
the war. 

"7th. Because the greater part of the certificates are in the 
possession of the original holders, anid not in the hands of specu- 
lators, which Is offered for the specious pretext for adopting this 
measure; or if they were, let it be remem'bered that the specula- 
tors, if they are the object, have purchased therm for one shilling 
and six pence, and two shillings In the pound, whereby they are 
gainers one hundred per cent, but it is a fact well known that the 
speculators have disposed of and are realizing their certificates in 
land, and that the ofBce was shut before a majority of the citizens 
could embrace the same opportunity, who of consequence retained 
them, confiding in the honesty and justice of the State. 
Richard Clinton, J. Graham, 

Henry Hnx, John Nesbit, 

J. B. Ashe, Charles McDCwell, 

James Galloway. Geo. H. Bergee, 


General Graham voted against recognizing John Se- 
vier as Brigadier of Militia of Washington District 

The University was established by this Legislature, 
and he was elected a member of the first Board of 

Hon. Eichard Caswell, who was the first Governor of 
the State, was a member of the Senate this year and its 
presiding officer. He died November 9, 1789. 

.We find that General Graham introduced a bill to 
equalize the land tax. This question to this day has 
never been satisfactorily settled. 

Inspection of tobacco was authorized at Clarksville, 

A bill was enacted allowing additional compensation 
to the Solicitor for the Mero Distrd'ct "for travelling 
through the wilderness." Mero included what is now 
Davidson County, Tennessee. 

The amendments proposed by the Convention of the 
State to the United States Constitution were ratified. 

The usury law was printed among the acts each ses- 
sion, and the Judges were directed to call attention to 
it in their charges to the grand jury in every county. 

The County Courts were authorized to appoint 
patrols, generally called "patrollers," in the different 
Captains^ beats in their counties. They patrolled their 
boundaries and punished or arrested any slaves found 
absent from their masters' premises without written per- 

In connection with this organization originated the 
well-known negro song, "before the war," 

"Run, nigger, run. 
The pat-er-roller '11 ketch you." 


This Legislature elected the first members to the 
United States Congress from this State. 


By an act of the Legislature Gotlieb Shober was 
loaned three hundred pounds without interest for three 
years to assist him in erecting mills for the manufact- 
ure of paper. In 1791 the Governor submitted to the 
Legislature Mr. Shober's petition for an extension of 
one year to the time of the loan, stating that the mills 
had been erected at Salem and that the cost had been 
so great that he could not conveniently pay the loan 
at the stated time. A ream of paper made at the mills 
accompanied the petition. The request for extension 
was granted, and when it became due in 1793 an act was 
passed permitting Mr. Shober to settle in six annual 
payments of fifty pounds each. Judge Francis X. Mar- 
tin published by subscription in 1792 what purported 
to be a collection of the laws of England still extant 
in this State. Shober appears as a subscriber for 
twelve copies, many times the largest on the list. The 
subscription was doubtless paid in paper and the ma- 
terial on which the book was printed is a sample of the 
first paper made in the State. 


Met at Fayetteville, November 1, 1790. 

General Graham was chairman of the Committees on 
Finance and Engrossed Bills, and was member of the 
Committees on Proposition and Grievances, Land Pat- 
ents, to Amend Court System, and Apportion Congres- 
sional Districts. He introduced a bill to amend the law 


(against the passage of which he had protested last ses- 
sion ) to settle the domestic debt, etc. 

He favored the bill to include the Senators and mem- 
bers of United States House of Representatives among 
those debarred from holding official positions under the 
State ; also the bill to cut the Albemarle and Chesapeake 
Canal. This bill was opposed by some upon the ground 
that it would give Norfolk trade which should be re- 
served for North Carolina towns. 

On his motion the Treasurer and Comptroller were re- 
quired to submit each session during the first week to 
the General Assembly a list of those persons who were 
indebted to the State, the same to be referred to the Com- 
mittee on Privileges and Election. 

All such persons were debarred from holding seats in 
the Legislature. 

He opposed the bill to carry into effect the ordinance 
of the Convention of 1788 to establish a State Capital. 
The bill was rejected on second reading by the Speaker's 
vote — Ayes, 24; nays, 24. 

He opposed a bill, which was rejected, "to prevent the 
handing around petitions for the emancipation of 

He favored the bill to equalize the land tax, also the 
bill to have a correct map of the State prepared. On his 
motion the acts of Congress were ordered printed by the 
State for the Governor, Judges, Attorney-General, Treas- 
urer and one copy for each county, to be kept by the 
Clerk of the Court. Also the following resolutions from 
the House were, on his motion, referred to a committee 
and amended: 


Whereas, Wten tlie General Assembly of the State of N. C. in its 
session! of the year 1789 did nominate and appoint Samuel Johnston 
and Benj. Hawkins, Esquires, to represent the saidl State in the Sen- 
ate of the United States every expectation that had confidence in 
their integrity: opinion of) their abilities: or certainty of their indus- 
try in discharging the trust reposed with them was entertained. 

With regret do we add that our constituents and ourselves too 
sensibly experience the evils arising from a want of an exertion 
in them' which if duly made could not have failed of being highly 
beneficial to this State, and might have rendered a government 
adopted under many doubts and with some difficulty better adapted 
to the dispositions of freemen. 

Resolved 1. That the Senators representing this State In the 
Congress of the U. S. be, and are, hereby directed to use their con- 
stant and unremitting exertions until they effect having the doors 
of the Senate of the XJ. S. kept open, that the public may have ac- 
cess to hear the debates of the Senate when in its Judicial or Leg- 
islative capacity. 

2. That when in Congress they be directed to correspond regu- 
larly and constantly with the Legislature, but during the recess 
thereof with the Executive. 

3. That they have such of the journals as are not of a secret 
nature printed and transmit the same to the Executive at least 
once a month during each session of Congress. 

4. That the Senators of this State use their utmost endeavors 
to effect economy in; the expenditure of the public moneys, and to 
decrease the monstrous salaries given the public officers and others, 
who however much they may be deserving of the public gratitude 
or liberality for the eminence of present or past services ought only 
to be compensated agreeable to public economy, not enriched with 
the bounty ,of regal splendor. 

5. That they strenuously oppose every excise and taxation law, 
should any be attempted in Congress. 

Amended by deleding the preamble and substituting "Whereas, 
the secrecy of the Senate of the United States, the alarming 
measures of the late session of Congress, and the silence observed 
by the Senators from this State in not corresponding with the 
Legislaiture or E3xecutive thereof, strongly impress the General 
Assembly with the necessity of declaring their sentiments thereon." 

And add an additional resolution for another mail route via Hali- 
fax, Hillsboro, Salisbury and Charlotte. 


This mail route was established, but did not go by 
Charlotte. It turned at Salisbury via Seattle's Ford, 
Vesuvius and Lincolnton to Spartanburg, S. C. 


The Legislature convened at New Bern, December 5, 
1791. General Graham was apiwinted on the Commit- 
tee on Propositions and Grievances, Finance, Committee 
to Adjust Unliquidated Claims Against the State, on 
Engrossed Bills and Bills of a Public Nature. The du- 
ties of the Committee on Finance are prescribed in a 

He introduced the bills to divide this State into Con- 
gressional Districts agreeable to the Census of 1790; 
also the bill "fixing compensation or fixing permanent 
salary of Governor and other officers and appointing the 
wages of the members of the General Assembly and of 
their Clerks and door-keepers." 

He supported the bill to allow Justices of the Peace 
who held the County Courts compensation ; also the bill 
to regulate the descent of all real estate, to do away with 
entails, to make provision for widows and to prevent 
frauds in the execution of wills. 

He opposed the bill to pay owners of slaves executed 
by order of Court, two-thirds value. Prior to 1786 this 
was law. He was a member of the committee to prepare 
a bill as to manner of appointing Presidential Electors. 

He opposed the bill establishing place of meeting of 
General Assembly and, residence of chief officers of the 
State, which was adopted — ayes, 27; noes, 24 — and 
joined in the following protest — viz. : 

Dissentient : 


Because permanence can not be insured to a measure carried by 
so inconsiderable a majority — a measure by wMcIl the interests of 
our constituents are materially injured — by wliich the public good 
is sacrificed to local combinations and personal influence — and 
against which as men, to answer the trust delegated to us, we 
solemnly protest: 

Because although it may be inconvenient and inconsistent with 
the dignity of this State, that its government should continue to 
be ambulatory, yet in the determination neither economy or policy 
are consulted — the interest of the most valuable part of the State 
sacrificed (perhaps from jealousy of its importance) by the tyranny 
of an accidental and most trifling m'aj,ority. 

Because the precedent of deciding on carrying into effect 
measures attended with such infinite expense tO' the country, under 
the faction of an accidental vote which may be reversed at a day 
not far distant, is pregnant with the most fatal mischiefs, and will 
in future as it does on the present occasion, encourage an intrigue 
in our counsels, and abandon the command of the treasury and 
the control of the properties of the people to the efljorts of design, 
and to the machinations of an interested party. 

Joseph Dickson, Joseph Geaham, 

J. R. Gautiee, Davh) Caldwell, 

Joseph "Winston, Joseph McDowell, 

And Fourteen Others. 

He supported a bill to permit passage of fish up New 
River, in Onslow County. 

He was on the Committee to Apportion the State into 
Congressional Districts; also on the Committee to Re- 
port on the Effect of the Operation of the United States 
Excise Law in this State, and to instruct our Senators as 
to the same. 

He opposed the division of Dobbs County into Greene 
and Lenoir counties, and joined in the following pro- 
test — ^viz. : 

Dissentient : 

1. Because the extent of territory does not call for or authorize 
a division. 


2. Because it increases a representation already complained of, 
on account of its weigiit and inequality. 

3. Because we conceive it unjust to divide any county upon 
the principles and allegations set forth in this petition, upon v?hich 
this division was claimed, and are of opinion, that it is the first 
time that ever a legislature rewarded any set of men for disorderly 
behavior, disrespect to the laws and the government of the State, 
outrageous rioting and breach of the peace. 

b. Because we conceive this division was effected by the undue 
influence of a junto, to answer local purposes without paying re- 
spect to those general principles which ought to govern the de- 
cisions of all legislatures who are appointed to rule a people whose 
rights are equal, whose objects are justice and the protection of 

5. Because the petitioners for this division, prayed it as the 
only remedy to get themselves released from the tyrannical juris- 
diction of a numtier of men, some of which number are said to 
be in places of power and trust, and to pay no respect to justice, 
laws, or morality; yet after this division has been obtained, those 
persons complained against, are reinstated in their commissions 
without a dissenting voice from the representation of the county, 
which induces us to believe that the allegations made use of, were 
only ostentatious pretences to cover motives too unjust and im- 
politic to be mentioned. 

J. DlCKSOJT, G. Edwaeds, 

Thomas Tyson, J. Graham, 

J. R. Gautiee, T. Wade, 

J. TuENEB, J. McDowell. 

He favored the following resolution, which was 
adopted — ayes, 37 ; noes, 8 : 

Resolved — 

That it is the opinion of the General Assembly that the Senar 
tors from this State in the Senate of the United States are 
bound by instructions of the Legislature of this State in all cases 
whatever when such instructions are not repugnant to the Con- 
stitution of the United States. 

This doctrine was held by the Democratic party in 
North Carolina. The Whig party, with which General 


Graham acted from its formation until his death, held 
the contrary view — viz. : That when a person was 
elected to an official position he was supposed to have 
better facilities for determining his course of action on 
questions which arose in the discharge of his duties than 
the people generally who had little opportunity to ex- 
amine the question, and the representative was not 
bound to follow the will of the elective power, or instruc- 
tions from them ; that it was no excuse for wrong-doing 
that his constituents instructed him to thus cast his 
vote. The Whigs having a majority in the Legislature 
of 1838, and desiring the United States Senators, who 
were Democrats, to vote for the repeal of the resolution 
expunging the resolution censuring the President ( Gen- 
eral Jackson) for removing the deposits from the United 
States Bank, resolved, in substance, that the Senators 
would by so doing express the will of majority of their 
constituents. The Senators replied that they recognized 
the right of the Legislature to instruct them ; that this 
was not a resolution of instruction, but they would re- 
sign, to take effect after the election in 1840. 

The .Whigs carried the Legislature in 1840, and Willie 
P. Mangum was elected, vice Bedford Brown, and W. A. 
Graham, vice Judge Eobert Strange. 

General Graham supported the bill to establish a 
General Court of Review (Supreme Court), but there 
were only thirteen votes for the measure to thirty-six 
against ; also the bill quieting ancient titles and limiting 
the claims of the State (Statute of Limitations). 

When elections were held sick members were waited 
on at their rooms and their ballots taken. 


This Legislature formulated the new oath for State 
and County ofiflcers. 

Buncombe County was formed out of Rutherford and 
Burke Counties. It comprised all of the State west of 
the Blue Eidge Mountains. 

A bill to elect Congressmen on a general ballot, as 
Presidential Electors are now elected, was defeated. 
Also one defining sufficient fences. 

The Governor of Virginia offered assistance from his 
State if the State would open the Roanoke River to navi- 

Chapter 9, 1791, to regulate the practice of physic in 

this State : 

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North 
Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, 
That every person practising as a physician or surgeon, shall de- 
liver his account or bill of particulars to all and every patient in 
plain English words, or as nearly so as the articles will admit; all 
aud every one of which accounts shall be liable, whenever the 
patient, his ,or her executors or administrators, shall require, to 
be taxed by the court and jury of the court of pleas and quarter- 
sessions of the county where the party com'plaining resides, calling 
to their aid and assistance such testimony as they may think 

Chap. 3. District courts had a specified number of 
jurymen from each county in the district. The courts 
continued thirteen work days. The judges at the pre- 
vious court made a calendar of the days of the term of 
the succeeding court upon which the business from each 
county would be transacted and the clerks published the 

Chapter 11 is the first statute against bigamy. 

Chapter 12. Stealing a horse is punishable with 
death, without benefit of clergy. 



Met at New Bern, 15th November. 

The course of passage of a bill through the Legisla- 
ture had formerly been that as it passed a reading in one 
House it was sent to the other, and when it had passed 
there it was returned, and so on until it had passed three 
readings in each House. If either House rejected it on 
any reading, no notice of its action was sent to the other 
House. A resolution was adopted this session to notify 
the other House of any measure rejected on any reading. 

On Graham's motion, a Committee on Finance was ap- 
pointed to consist of members from each House, and they 
were directed to inquire into the net amount of the reve- 
nues of the State ; also into the state of the Treasury and 
the application of the moneys in the same at the last set- 
tlement and those since collected ; also that they inquire 
and report all delinquencies! and how far the different 
resolutions of the last General Assembly respecting de- 
linquents have been carried into effect by the Treasurer 
and what success he had in collecting the arrears due to 
the State from persons resident in the western ceded ter- 

He served on Committees on Claims, Bills of Public 
Nature, Presidential Electors. 

The State was entitled to twelve electors — that is (as 
now ) , one for each member of the House of Representa- 
tives and one for each Senator. It was divided into 
twelve districts and an elector was elected for each dis- 
trict, the voters in each district voting only for their 
elector. In 1811 the law was changed so that the Legis- 
lature elected all the electors. This act caused the an- 


nexed letter of General Graham to Governor Hawkins, 
in 1812 : 

Lincoln County, 13 July, 1812. 

Deab Sm: — A number of citizens of Lincoln County and of ad- 
joining counties intended to| liave forwarded petitions toi your Excel- 
lency similar to that sent by our sister county, Mecklenburg, solici- 
ting you to call tlie Gemeral Assembly before the annual meeting'; 
time enougih to lay off the State into districts for Electors to YOte 
for President and Vice-President of the United States and repeal 
the present law vesting that power in the Legislature. Being 
informed that you have appointed your council to meet on the four- 
teenth inst., and supposing if such petitions are forwarded here- 
after you might think It inexpedient again to call them ; I would beg 
leave to suggest to your Excellency the policy of submitting to your 
Council, when convened, the propriety of calling the Legislature for 
the purpose aforesaid; as it can be no additional expense to the 
State, for they may continlue their session the usual time and 
adjourn so much the sooner. After the many able discussions the 
subject underwent in the public prints, by grand juries and others, 
it would be unnecessary to use arguments to show the unconstitu- 
tionality and impropriety of the act aforesaid. It is enough that your 
Excellency and the honorable Council has sufficient evidence to con- 
vince you that a majority of the counties are much dissatisfied with 
the aforesaid act; and that sound policy recommends at the present 
juncture that every real cause of com,plaint ought to be removed; 
as the proper method to inspire confidence in the constituted 
authority at the present eventful crisis. 

For while I believe the people will be unanimous in support of 
their government against foreign aggression, they will have but poor 
consolation if they think their liberties endangered by internal regu- 
lations and find themselves divested of powers and consequence in 
the government, which they have been heretofore accustomed to 
exercise and enjoy, and which they flatter themselves they hold 
under the Constitution by as secure a tenure as their other rights. 

It would be desirable that the people should know previous to the 
election whether it is probable that the Assembly will be called or 
not; for if they expect the law to be acted upon, no doubt they will 
require a test of candidate, that they will vote for such Electors 
as will support a particular interest; on the other hand, if the 
people are to elect Electors, then no doubt they will select for the 


Legislature men im whom they liaive coinfidence for their talents and 
integrity, regardless of their opinions relative to Electors. 
I am, with due respect. 

Your Excellency's most obt. and humble servant, 
To Gov. Havpiqns. Jos. Grattam. 

In 1815 the law was changed to the present system of 
electing all the electors for the State on one ballot, and 
every voter in the State entitled to vote for every elector 
to which the State is entitled in the Electoral College. 

The electors for 1792 were elected by the Legislature. 

The following are some resolutions adopted on 
national affairs by this General Assembly : 

Resolved, That the Senators representing this State in 
the Congress of the United States are hereby instructed 
to use their unremitted exertions until they effect 
having the doors of the Senate of the United States kept 
open that the people may have access to hear the debates 
of the Senate v/hen in its legislative and judicial capaci- 

Resolved, That secrecy in legislation is the first step 
to subvert the liberties and destroy the happiness of the 
people; that it is not sufliicient that the people should 
only know measures when effected, but that they should 
know the men and means whereby they were effected. 

Resolved, That the right of instructing public ser- 
vants is inseparable from the right of electing them. 

Resolved, That the Senators of this State in Congress 
use their utmost exertions to have that part of the Im- 
post Law repealed which obliges the article of salt to be 
landed at a port of entry alone. 

Resolved, That they endeavor to have the District 
Courts of the United States organized in such manner 
agreeable to the resolution of the last General Assembly 


that each Court may be held separate and distinct from 
the other at each of the towns of New Bern, Wilmington 
and Edenton. 

At this time the Marshals seem to have made writs re- 
turnable to either Court at their pleasure without refer- 
ence tO' the residence of the persons affected. 

Resolved, That the Senators from this State be and 
they are hereby directed and instructed and the repre- 
, sentatives from this State in Congress are hereby re- 
quested to understand it as the sense and to be the 
opinion of this Assembly that the paper currency of this 
State should not be drawn out of circulation by permit- 
ting it to be subscribed into the funds of the United 

The financial question of supplying the people with a 
sufficient quantity of money or medium of exchange 
seems to be coeval with the history of the country. 

The Committee on Public Bills was directed to formu- 
late instructions necessary to be given Senators in the 
United States Congress, and to report such encroach- 
ments and innovations as they conceived the Congress of 
the United States to have made upon the Federal Consti- 
tution, and what taxation they find has been laid by 
the Federal Government and the grievances which the 
citizens of this State have experienced or are liable to 
experience in consequence of such a tax. 

An act was introduced for the inspection of prisons 
and jails and looking to the comfort of the inmates 

One was enacted to give the Trustees of religious so- 
cieties the right to hold property and providing for its 


The German Presbyterian Church on Second Creek, 
Rowan County was authorized to institute a lottery to 
raise funds to build a meeting-house to replace one 
which had been burned. 

The Quakers petitioned the Legislature for the eman- 
cipation of all slaves. 

The following is an extract from Governor Martin's 
acceptance of election as United States Senator: 

Witi diffidence I accept the important trust, Icnowing the tender 
ground on wliich I am to walk, and though I should fail in the pub- 
lic expectations, yet my conduct shall rest on the candour of the 
Legislature with this assurance, that while my endeavors shall be 
exerted in promoting the general good of the nation the indi- 
viduality and internal sovereignty of the State shall be my prin- 
cipal care to preserve inviolate. 

General Graham favored a bill regulating divorces in 
the State, which was defeated. 

The bill to divide Mecklenburg County and form 
Cabarrus passed second reading only by the Speaker's 
vote, and failed to pass third reading by vote of ayes, 24 ; 
nays, 29. He opposed this bill on every reading. 

He favored the establishment of a Supreme Court, but 
the bill was rejected — ayes, 15 ; nays, 35. 

He served on a committee "to burn such money as is 
unfit for circulation." He introduced the bill to appor- 
tion the jurors to serve in Court at Salisbury to the dif- 
ferent counties composing the district. 

On December 28th the bill to divide Mecklenburg 
County was reconsidered, and the line of division 
changed. It was enacted, he favoring it. There was a 
protest against its passage in the House. The motion 
"to lay on the table the motion to reconsider" seems to 


have been unknown. The rejection of the bill was con- 
sidered as finally disposing of it. 

General Eufus Barringer, of the Confederate army, 
who was reared in the Dutch portion of Cabarrus 
County, is authority for the statement that the cause 
for the move for division of the county was that in the 
militia musters the Scotch-Irish Avould jeer the Germans 
on their pronunciation in giving the commands — e. g., 
"wightweel" for right wheel, etc., etc., which irritated 
them very much. 

Those favoring division in 1792 procured the aid of 
Hon. Stephen Cabarrus, of Chowan, Speaker of the 
House, and a most influential member. They named the 
county for him. 

Up to 1861 all citizens in the State between the ages 
of 18 and 45 years were enrolled in militia companies by 
captain's "beats," and were required "to turn out" seve- 
ral times each year for Company, Battalion and Brigade 

When Gen. Graham attended the sessions of the Leg- 
islature in Fayetteville, he usually carried his tobacco 
there to market, as it was one of the best markets in the 
State. The tobacco was packed tightly in a hogshead, 
which was carefully headed so as to keep dry. Around 
the hogshead were placed several large poles like fellies 
to a wagon wheel, shafts were attached to the heads, and 
a horse being hitched the hogshead rolled on the ground. 
Streams were forded without injury to the tobacco. 
When the market was reached, the horse and tobacco 
were sold. If there was a ship in port awaiting a load, 
the price was good ; when there was no ship present, the 
date of the next arrival being uncertain, prices were low. 


Speculators bought the farmers' tobacco at their own 
pricing, and sold it at a great profit when a ship came. To 
prevent this the Legislature authorized County Courts to 
establish tobacco warehouses in their respective counties. 
The tobacco was delivered, receipt taken for it and the to- 
bacco held to await the coming of a ship. These receipts 
were negotiable and frequently passed in business trans- 
actions as a receipt for grain in an elevator now does in 
Chicago and other cities in the West. The law provided 
severe penalties against frauds in the issuing or hand- 
ling of these receipts. This law was enacted by the first 
Legislature of the State and still remains upon the 
statute books. 

The taxes of the General Government were payable in 
specie. There was but little of it at that time in the 
State. Agents were appointed in specified markets to 
buy tobacco with State money. This tobacco was ship- 
ped abroad, sold for specie and the State obtained the 
funds to settle its taxes with the United States. 

Nearly all travelling from this section was on horse- 
back. On arrival at Fayetteville the horse would be put 
to board with some farmer until the Legislature should 
adjourn or it was sold and another piurchased when 
needed for the return journey. 

Laws were frequently limited in duration, as is still 
done by the English Parliament, the ratifying clause 
stating the length of time they should exist. 

A law was passed prohibiting the bringing of any 
slave from a State in which slaves were emancipated 
into this State and requiring the offender to give a bond 
of |1,000 for the return of the negro to the State 
whence he came and f500 penalty for each month he 


delayed his return. This law remained upon our statute 
books until 1865. 

A negro over fifty years of age could be liberated for 
specially meritorious services to his owner and be 
allowed to remain in the State. The petitioners for the 
liberation of others were required to give bond for their 
removal from the State within six months after their 

There was no Supreme Court in those days, but there 
was an appeal from the County to the Superior or Dis- 
trict Courts. 

Grist mills were prohibited from being established 
nearer than two miles of each other. There was no place 
of residence for the government and State officers. The 
Governor resided at home, unless hisi presence was spe- 
cially required elsewhere. He usually attended the ses- 
sions of the Legislature. The Comptroller and Treas- 
urer kept their official documents at Hillsborough. They 
attended the sessions of the General Assembly, carrying 
such documents asi might be required for inspection and 
a sufficiency of funds to pay the expenses of the session 
and such claims as might arise therefrom. 

Chapter 25, Laws of 1802, enacted that the Governor 
should reside in Raleigh during his term of office. 

I annex as part of Graham's legislative record : 

1. A plan for a Militaiy Academy for the State, which 
he submitted to the Legislature in 1802. Congress 
passed the act to establish a Military Academy at West 
Point, March 16, 1802, but it had not been organized. 

2. A letter he wrote in 1808 to Gen. W. E. Davie, then 
a member of the United States Congress from South 


Carolina, relating to the organization of the United 
States army. 

He was a candidate for a seat in the House of Repre- 
sentatives in the United States Congress in 1813 in op- 
position to Hon. Peter Forney, and in 1823 against 
Major Henry W. Connor. He failed of election in each 


On the 4th day of Sept., 1802, a respectable number of the Militia 
Officers from the different Counties in the District of Morgan, to- 
gether with a number of citizens from different parts of said Dis- 
trict in the time of the Superior Court met in Committee in Mor- 
ganton at the house of James Mclntlre for the purpose of inves- 
tigating what plan should be recommended to the ensuing General 
Assembly for the better disciplining the Militia of this State: 

Brigadier-General James Miller was unanimously appointed 

On miotlon a digest of a plan to establish a Military Academy 
was read by Major Graham. 

On motion of Col. J. Moore, seconded by Capt. L. Henderson, 
Resolved that it is expedient to establish a Military Academy in 
the State of N. C. Unanimously agreed to. 

On motion ,of Col. D. McKisick, seconded by Mr. Davenport, Re- 
solved that the Plan of a Military Academy proposed by Major 
Graham be recommended to the attention of the General Assembly. 

On motion. Resolved that Major Graham be requested to transmit 
the proposed Plan of a Military Academy enclosed and sealed up, 
to the Speaker of either House of the next General Assembly. 

Jas. MiLiiEE, Chairman. 

To the Honorable the General Assembly ,of the State of North 
Carolina, the following observations are respectfully submitted by 
their most obedient, humble Servant, 

Joseph Graham. 

Among the writers on government however they may differ on 
other subjects, in this they agree: that nO' nation is secure with- 
out an efficient military force to protect it and their opinions 
on this subject are divided into the following, viz. EHther a Stand- 


ing Army or a well regulated Militia. This subject underwent an 
investigation during the time of the American War and since that 
time a majority of the Federal and State Legislatures have been 
in favor of the latter proposition viz. a well regulated militia 
which appears to be best suited to our Republican form' of govern- 

If convulsion should take place, which history informs us such 
governments are liable to, that side which regular troops might 
take would most likely be preponderate and in all probability 
establish despotism. 

The late General Washington in his farewell address to the 
Army; in his speeches at opening each session of Congress while 
he was President, earnestly recommended some efiBcient plan to be 
adopted for the disciplining of the Militia of the United States. 
President Adams was also equally importunate and our present 
President in his speech at the last opening of Congress urges "that 
they shall not separate until everything is done for putting the 
militia in perfect order that can be done were an enemy at our 

Notwithstanding these earnest recommendations, for twenty 
years past, of those whom we esteem our wisest men and have 
enjoyed our confidence in the highest degree it may be asked what 
has been done towards carrying those recommendations into effect? 
Have the plans adopted effected the purpose? Are the officers 
generally capable of instructing their men in military duties that 
are essential to be known in time of service? 

At the present time are the militia progressing in military 
knowledge or is it probable under the existing system they will 
ever acquire such a knowledge of their duty as it would be safe 
to trust the defense of the country to them against an intelligent 
enemy? To discharge the duties of a Field Officer in active ser- 
vice, it is the opinion of the undersigned, requires as much pre- 
vious study as well as practice, as is usually taken to fit them for 
any of the learned professions. 

Were any of us going to take a trip across the Atlantic, would 
we choose to go in a vessel navigated by landsmen who were un- 
acquainted with navigation and the art of sailing? 

Would we consider it safe to trust ourselves, our families, or 
property, to the power of the wind and the waves, under the direc- 
tion of such ignorant commanders? If they proposed to give us 
free passage would we accept it? Or would we not rather pay 


double to persons skilled in the art of sailing, and in whose judg- 
ment and knowledge we could place entire Gonfidence? 

Practically considered, as well might w© expect a person who 
had never been taught the art of doing it, to form a clock, or 
other piece of mechanism, as an oflBcer of middle grade to dis- 
charge bis duty Without being instructed. 

The military art calls for profound study; its theory is immense, 
and the details infinite. Those who have been longest in service 
and most assiduous in their application, acknowledge they hare 
yet to learn. Is it possible then, that officers of the militia can 
obtain a competent knowledge of these things, according to the 
present opportunities of instruction, in the short space of time 
their usual avocations will permit them to devote to their ac- 

A nation that keeps a standing army has the advantage of per- 
petuating a knowledge of the military art, (and yet in aid of this 
they deem it necessary to support military schools of instruction 
for their officers) ; but, in a country like our own, where but a 
handful of regular troops is kept, and they placed in small de- 
tachments on an extensive frontier of 2000 miles, and the instruc- 
tion of the militia so much neglected, whatever knowledge re- 
mains obtained by the war, will in a short tim'e be lost. Surely, 
as matters stand, there is the greatest necessity for adopting some 
plan that would place our militia on a footing nearer equal to 
the troops of other nations than they are at present. If an enemy 
should invade our country with an army of regulars, would it be 
policy; would it be consistent with humanity to face them with 
an equal number of our militia, as at present trained? 

Though I know there were not braver troops engaged in the 
American war, on either side, than the militia of that part of 
North Carolina where I was acquainted, yet I often had to lament 
a want of skill in officers and men, which generally gave the 
superior discipline of the enemy the preponderance, when the 
num'bers engaged on each side exceeded five hundred, clearly de- 
monstrating, that blind valour, without acting in concert by some 
fixed principle, could effect nothing; and as the numbers on each 
side increased, the advantage of the enemy was the greater, when 
the chance otherwise was equal. 

In order that our militia may be qualified to act a proper part 
in whatever the future destinies of the State might require, I 
would propose that a suitable number of officers formed of our 


own native materials, and selected from our own bosoms, who 
enjoy the confidence of the people, and are equally distributed 
among them, be instructed as hereinafter proposed: and without 
attempting to anticipate all the evils that would arise from' our 
present situation, or giving a detail of the defects in the existing 
system, and the attempts that have been made to reform them, or 
their uniform want of success, will respectfully submit the follow- 
ing Plan of a Military Academy. 


1. That the Governor for the tim'e being, and the General OflBcers 
of the Militia, be perpetual Trustees of the Academy; that they 
will visit it from time to time, and assist in directing auch arrange- 
ments as will best promote the purposes thereby intended, and 
they be authorized to contract with and employ, either In the 
United States or Europe, a person suitably qualified to carry into 
effect the following plan of instruction and superintendence for 
the Academy; and that that person be allowed such pay and rank 
as will procure one of respectability in his profession. 

2. That the justices of the peace, and commissioned ofiBcers of 
the militia in each regiment, who may be present at the court that 
will be held in their county, after the first day of July in each year 
(due notice thereof being given) proceed to elect, by ballot, a 
young man, between the age of sixteen and twenty-five years, of 
a robust constitution, promising genius and good character, who 
can write a good hand, and com'pose tolerably well, understands 
arithmetic and geography, and who resides and will probably con- 
tinue to reside, within the bounds of said regiment. 

3. That on a return being made of the persons elected in each 
regiment, the first time, to the General of Division, they shall 
divide them by lot into four classes, as nearly as may be. The 
first class to commence on the first day of January following the 
election; the second class on the first day of April, and the others 
in rotation, to commence quarterly. Each class to attend one year, 
from the time of their commencem'ent, except such time as may be 
appointed for vacation. 

4. That such provision be made by law for their support and 
emolument, as will indemnify them while in service, and such as 
"Will, together with the prospect of future promotion, induce young 
men of the first respectability to offer at the election. 

5. That every young man who shall serve with reputation one 


year, and have teen instructed in the different branches taught in 
said Academy, shall have a certificate thereof, signed by the Presi- 
dent or Instructor, and receive a Brevet from the Governor, and a 
Sword and full suit of Regimentals, at the expense of the State; 
and on returning hom'e to his regiment, he shall be considered as 
Adjutant thereof, until he receives a commission, of higher grade. 
And when more than one such person is educated for each bat- 
talion, on the days of regimental or battalion musters, the Field 
Officers will appoint them such duties as will render the most 
assistance in exercising and manoeuvring the regiment or bat- 
talion; and in two years after the commencement of the institu- 
tion, it shall be understood that the General Officers are limited to 
persons thus instructed, in the appiointment of their Aids, Brigade- 
Majors or Inspectors, and generally, all appointments in the Staff 

6. It is proposed, before every regimental or battalion muster, 
that the officers, non-commissioned officers and musicians, be com- 
pelled to attend and be instructed by the Adjutant, such time as 
will be thought proper. There are in North Carolina sixty counties, 
in each of which is one regiment; and about twenty counties have 
two, making in the whole about eighty regiments, which divided 
into four classes, will make twenty to each class, or thereabouts. 

Plan of Instruction, 
first class. 

It is proposed to teach this Class the Manual Exercise (for which 
purpose, muskets and bayonets ought to be provided),' the keeping 
of their arms and accoutrements in proper order, the firings, 
facing, marching, wheeling, and whatever may be performed by a 
single platoon; the duty of sentinels on guard, the duty of guards 
in mode of relieving, the manner of going and receiving the rounds, 
the duty of patrols, and generally, whatever may relate to the 
duties lOf the private soldier, non-commissioned officers and 
musicians, forms of company returns when in service, whether for 
provisions, arms, clothing, pay, or descriptive lists. 

As so much depends on accurate knowledge of the Platoon Exer- 
cise, and the duty of n,on-commissioned officers and soldiers, it is 
thought the first three months will be tim'e short enough to learn 
these duties. And let it also be remembered, that in an army of 
20,000 men, the accuracy with which they change their positions, 
depends on the precision of the movement of each single platoon. 


and to have experienced and active non-commissioned officers, is 
esteemed the soul of an army. It is unnecessary to use arguments 
to show that an officer whatever his grade may be, ought to know 
the duty of each subordinate officer, and of the common soldier. 


When this class assemibles, the first class will, in addition to the 
duties, of alternately instructing them what they have been taught 
learn majiceuvring by Regiment or Battalion, not only the evolu- 
tions in Stueben's Military Guide, but also some of those in the 
British System which were not wisely laid aside*. And explana- 
tions given how they are applied when in actual service: forms of 
encampment and all such other duties as are performed by a single 
regiment, either in camp, in garrison, or in the field: forms of 
Court Martials, and their proceedings; style and manner of dis- 
tributing the orders; likewise forms of returns made by the Ad- 
jutant, and returns and accounts which m'ay be in the Pay Master, 
Quartermaster, Commissary or Hospital Department.f And while in 
this class each person should be provided with a well-bound book, in 
order to take down in form, all such returns and accounts and such 
other matter as are hereinafter mentioned. 


This class is to assist in instructing the first and second, and 
themselves to learn a system of Cavalry Discipline, such as that 

*Thie refers to when a line is advancing and a thick wood presents Itself in front 
through which you can not well pass In the line ; " By the right of platoons or 
divisions advancing by file" you can pass it with more facility and when through 
by facing to the left and wheeling to the right can again form the line. After 
facing about, the retreat is performed In the same manner. The only objection 
to this manoeuvre is, when filed off, you are exposed to the attacli of calvary ; but 
it is performed in service only in such places as where cavalry cannot act. Barnn 
Btueben published his Military Guide shortly after his arrival in America before 
he had a personal knowledge of the country. It is probable had he revised or 
published a second edition of his work, he would have inserted this with other 

tit cannot be forgotten that the State of N orth Carolina In the settlement of her 
accounts with the tjnited States, for want of preserving suitable vouchers, and a 
proper system of keeping accounts in the different departments lost more than 
would defray the expense of the proposed Institution for twenty years. 

t General Davie's system is certainly calculated to give the greatest possible- 
effect to cavalry in an open country where there are large plains and no woods. 
But In this country, the face of whicli is covered with underbrush and woods, and 
often confined by swamps, fences, hills, rivers, etc., it would sometimes be difli- 
cult to find ground in some distance where some of the evolutions could be per- 
formed : his flank marches and changing front by threes inst«ad of fours (as 
formerly practiced), renders it more inconvenient, increasing or reducing the 
front according to local difficulties, or taking up the line of march from parade 
without first forming the single line and telling off a-new, which in service, on 
spur of the occasion. It would often happen that time would not admit. 


published by General Davie* and sanctioned by the Legislature, 
or that practiced by Colonels Washington and Lee, as less com'plex 
and better adapted to real service in a country which abounds in 
woods; or perhaps some plaji might be devised from them both: 
the duties of a Partisan who commands legionary corps composed 
of cavalry and infantry; of ambuscades and secret marches and 
stratagems usually practiced to surprise an enemy; of reconnoit- 
ring and drawing plans of a country supposed to be the seat of 
war, and inferences drawn showing the advantage you can have 
by having such plans in anticipating the enemies movements and 
regulating your own; of retreating] in order in the presence of a 
■superior enemy; drawing plans of the smaller kinds of intrench- 
ments in the field and the manner of fortifying Churches, mills, 
farms, fords and diflacult passes, with the way of defending them. 
And after these demonstrations are gone through facing about 
and finding the most practical and best method of attacking and 
carrying them if in possession of an enemy. 


This class is to learn the Artillery Exercise, the use of cannon, 
carronades, howitz, mortars, etc. and generally (as far as time will 
permit) the duty of Engineers, and everything learned by the 
second and third Classes, on a larger scale: such as fortifying and 
defending: villages, cities, encampments of large armies, and the 
manner of conducting sieges, choice of positions and science of 
posts. And at this stage of the Institution once in three months 
when the weather suits, for the purpose of instructing them in the 
duties of the field; the students ought to march out about a fort- 
night or three weeks through the country, thirty or forty miles 
distant; which would afford an opportunity of pointing out every 
advantageous position and what disposition ought to be made were 
am, enemy met in any situation; or if they were found at a ford or 
other strong position waiting for you by what method you could 
most easily pass or dislodge them. The use of this kind of exer- 
cise will appear obvious. When afterwards traveling by himself, 
a student can not pass an advantageous position without examining 
it minutely; and at any place by a glance of the eye, or coup d'oeil 
(as the French call it) is enabled to judge of the best disposition 
that could be made of his party in every possible situation. 

That a suitable number of Military Books be provided at the 
expense of the State and that such arrangem'ents be made of the 


time of the students so that a paxt be taken up in reading, -writing 
and drawing and the other in exercise and recreation. When the 
Institution is fully in operation it is proposed that the students be 
divided into small companies and that those in the fourth class 
act as officers in rotation; which will not only habituate them to 
teach but save the expense of employing other instructors. The 
most exact subordination to be lObserved and good morals be in- 
culcated and enforced. All kinds of gaming to be prohibited ex- 
cept such athletic exercises as tend to invigorate the constitution 
and for obvious reasons the game of chess; but even these to be 
admitted as pastime and not with a view of gain. 

That such regulations be established as will prevent Duelling 
and render the proposers, aiders and abettors thereof disgraceful; 
and that a Court of Honor be composed out of the third and fourth 
classes for the adjustment of all differences, such as proposed by 
Mr. Paley for the Army. 

In order to pay a due regard to economy and prevent the students 
from acquiring habits of luxury and effem'inancy so destructive to 
the military character, it is proposed that rations be provided and 
regularly issued; that for the first and second classes a cook be 
allowed for every four; and that the third and fourth classes be 
allowed subalterns rations and a cook be allowed for every two. 
No slave or person of color to be admitted as cook or waiter in the 
Institution*; but free men enlisted for the purpose, which by in- 
creasing the number when manoeuvring will enable the instructor 
with more ease to demonstrate the more extended operations of an 
army. Also if the proposed Penitentiary Law should pass would 
it not be policy to have them in the vicinity of it in order to do 
such actual military duty as might be needed? 

That no student be permitted to board in the neighborhood or 
fare otherwise than according to the rules of the Institution, while 
in health. 

As the persons instructed are expected to command free citizens, 
who have not been habituated to subordination (so essentially 
necessary to give energy and effect to military operations) that 
they be instructed on first being invested with command of new 
troops to precede with the greatest delicacy and prudence, giving 
no orders but what every intelligent soldier will see the necessity 
of and when they give them, to do it In a firm, decided yet unos- 

*Lest you educate a Touasaint L'Overture. 


tentatious manner and see that they are promptly executed; and 
in case of disobedience to punish the delinquent In such way as 
prudence will suggest and authority justify; whatever complaints 
may be made on such occasions such conduct tends to promote the 
service and will meet the support and approbation, of a large ma- 
jority who are well disposed and attached to order. 

That they be instructed to pay the most profound respect and 
exact obedience to the Civil authorities and that to he orderly 
members of civil society and humane to a vanquished enemy are 
reputed the concomitants of true honor and genuine bravery. That 
if ever they are engaged in war they endeavor to carry it on with 
as much lenity as is consistent with the state of hostility and 
agreeable to the rules which humanity formed and the example 
the most civilized nations recommend: that all kinds of cruelty 
or ill treatment of prisoners, or citizens or waste of property that 
has no tendency to weaken the resisting force is to be avoided as 
ungentlemanly and fix an indelible stain on the arms of the troops 
guilty of such conduct. 

Some Objections Anticipated. 

It may be observed that since the peace in 1783 our political 
horizon has been so clear, not the least prospect of war in any 
quarter with the United States; why then should we be at the 
trouble and expense of establishing such an Institution; however 
advantageous it might be at another tim'e at present our circum- 
stances do not appear to require it. 

It is admitted that at no period since the Revolution were our 
prospects ,of peace so bright, but the greatest man our country has 
produced has told us: "that a time of peace is the time to prepare 
for war"; then surely it is more necessary to qualify a suitable 
number of scientific officers to command us than to store up naval 
materials, fix arsenals and provide other military stores. If this 
plan should be adopted the benefits resulting from it would not 
place us in a position to encounter difficulties sooner than eight 
or ten years from the time of its commencement and until a respect- 
able number of those instructed should be promoted to the grade 
of field officers and some generals; as it is presumed they will be 
after they leave the Academy. If their conduct appears to merit 
it they will generally be appointed in case of vacancy, and when 
there are six or eight to a regiment of persons so instructed, if 
called into service, of a few weeks, they will transform the whole 


militia into a formidable and tolerably regular army, when com- 
manded by such, officers; and notwithstanding the fair prospects at 
"present, before ten years hence we may be involved In the most 
perilous situation. 

War is often produced by the most trifling incidents and arises 
from causes which no political sagacity can foresee. Of this his- 
tory furnishes many examples. We have now enjoyed peace for 
twenty years; that it should continue so long again we can 
scarcely expect. I believe that for the last century no nation in 
Europe has enjoyed peace for forty years at one time. What 
reason have we then to flatter ourselves that we shall always con- 
tinue in our present happy condition and make no preparation to 
meet adverse fortune? On the article of expense let us compare the 
advantages resulting from the measure with the danger of neglect- 
ing it. I should not be charged with exaggerating to suppose that 
before twenty years hence the lives of ourselves, of ,our children, 
the security of our property, nay perhaps even our political exis- 
tence as a free people might depend upon the military knowledge 
of those who would command us in the field. Shall we then toll 
to acquire property? Shall we expend considerable sums every year 
in forming salutary laws to regulate this property and protect our 
persons? Shall we be so anxious to preserve our excellent consti- 
tutions and the greatest privileges ever enjoyed by a nation; and 
are we to hold this and everything dear to us on so^ precarious a 
tenure as the protection afforded by our militia as at present 

Surely any reasonable expense would bear no proportion to the 
probable advantage in case of war. In private life we find It is 
necessary to expend part of our property to render the other part 
valuable to us. What „ would we think of a farmer who would 
manure his land, work it well In the proper season and pay no 
attention to his fences, but suffer them to rot and his crop to be 
destroyed because it w.ould take some money to employ some per- 
son to make rails enough to make a good fence? Would we say he 
acted prudently or wisely In saving his money or that he was a 
good economist? In a national view, the parallel will apply with 
equal force. 

Whatever may be your decision on these propositions the under- 
signed Is not a cent gainer or loser mtore than the rest of his fellow- 
' citizens; but finding those, whose business it Is, neglecting to bring 


forward anything that will remedy our defects in discipline; and 
being impressed with the necessity of som.ething being done, and 
solicitous that our government be preserved to the latest ages in 
its present happy form; and anxious that if ever his country should 
be engaged in war, the lives of his fellow citizens and the cause of 
his country should not fall a sacrifice to the ignorance of those who 
should command them, he has deemed it a duty respectfully to 
offer his thoughts on this subject. 
I am. Gentlemen, 

"With the highest respect and esteem. 
Your most obedient, humble Servant, 

Joseph Gbaham. 
Vesuvius Furnace, 
August 25, 1802. 

The Legislature took the following action on the me- 
morial : 

Resolved That the thanks of this General Assembly be presented 
to Joseph Graham, Esq., of Lincoln County for his plan of a Mili- 
tary Academy submitted to the consideration of this Legislature, 
and that the address be printed, ten copies for each County in the 
State to be delivered with the Laws and Journals to the Clerks of 
the several County Courts and by him' to the commandants of the 
several regiments, to be at their disposal. 

2. To Generai, W. R. Davie, M. C. 

Vesuvius B^irnace, Dec. 19, 1808. 
Dear Genl: — ' 

On taking a review of the organization of our regular army I 
apprehend it is on. a plan more expensive than needful. I observe 
there is one regiment of Riflemen and one ditto of Cavalry. I 
know of nothing that can justify such an appointment and expense 
except it is expected by the administration to send them to such 
distant points westwardly or southwardly as it would be too far 
for the Militia. If any actual service is expected the number of 
Regulars is so small there is no doubt the Militia would be called 
on; then sir put the question to yourself what kind of troops do 
you get You know you have as many Cavalry already equpt at 
their ovTn expense as would be a sufBcient proportion to any army 
of Infantry you would want and when you call for footmen from 
the Militia take the Southern States throughout I think you will 


find the arms half rifles, and men who have been habituated to use 
them since their infancy and furthermore the Militia generally 
prefer service in the Cavalry or Rifles to that of the Line. I know 
it is a matter certain whenever either are wanted for actual service 
in the old United States enough can he had from volunteers from 
the Militia. After the war commenced in the south-land we had no 
Riflemen who were Regulars and I appeiil to your knowledge of 
those times if we had not always a sufficient proportion of them 
yea the misfortune was we frequently had scarcely any other and 
as to Cavalry when the Militia was properly equipt, mounted and 
officered I could point out places where they acquitted themselves 
equal to Regulars. I have been with them when equal numbers 
of Tarleton's men fled before them. 

The discipline actually necessary to be known in service for 
Cavalry or Riflemem is so simple it may be acquired in a short 
time. That the United States should have somie intelligent officers 
for each I grant may be proper; but to keep on the establishment 
a whole regiment of each I think inconsistent with true economy. 

Regiments of Musquet and Bayonette men and a suitable propor- 
tion ,of Artillery are the kind of troops we want; it is a work of 
time to form these from the Militia even if you had arms enough 
to put into their hands; until they were some tim'e in service 
under regular officers they never did acquit themselves well on a 
large scale with those tools to the southward but generally acted 
well as Cavalry and Riflemen. After I was wounded in the Par- 
thian fight opposing Lord Comwallis entering Charlotte in Sep- 
tember 1780 I was moved by a wagon out of the way of the enemy 
into Guilford County. I stopped aJl night near Mocks Tavern with 
the late Genl. Morgan on the eve of his going to the southward 
with about 300 regulars; interrogating me as to the position of 
Charlotte, the roads leading from it, the principal farms, mills, 
etc. etc. he inquired if we had many good Riflemen; mentioned his 
name was Morgan and supposed I had heard of his commanding 
Riflem'en in the northern army which had been very troublesome 
to the enemy; but says he "my Riflemen would have been of little 
service if we had not always had a line of Musquet and Bayonette 
men to supjKvrt us, it is this that gives them confidence. They know 
if the enemy charges them they have a place to retreat to and are 
not beat clear off." How well this doctrine of the General was 
verified you who were present are the best judge. Though the 
General might not be as scientific an officer as others he certainly 


understood the duties of the field (fighting I mean) nearly as well 
as any of them. In the disposition General Greene made of his 
army at the actions of Guilford, Eutaw and other places, where he 
had a large proportion of Militia Riflemen he adopted the same 
principle that Genl. Morgan communicated to me and you observe 
thereby he escaped the errors and disasters of his predecessor to 
the southward who had formed his calculations on the Militia act- 
ing equal to Regulars when they were equipt in the same manner. 

I assure you sir I have not made these remarks out of an itch for 
scribbling but from a solemn conviction that they are well founded. 
If any additions should be attempted to our standing army and you 
coincide with me in opinion you are at liberty to make what use 
you please of this letter. As a looker on I may sometimes discover 
things which m'ight escape the attention of those who are con- 
stantly employed in the public service; in which case I will con- 
sider it a duty and take the liberty to communicate it at any time 
you have leisure. 

A line on the times will be acceptable to. 

Your sincere friend, 

J. Geaham. 


In 1789 what is now known as the Big Ore Bank was 
"granted" by the State to Peter Forney, Abram Forney, 
Abram Earhardt and Turner Abernathy. Peter Forney 
purchased the interest of the others in the property. In 
1791 Alexander Brevard, John Davidson and Joseph 
Graham purchased from Forney an interest in this prop- 
erty. Brevard and Graham were sons-in-law of David- 
son. Captain Brevard was the son of John Brevard, a 
prominent Whig, who lived near Centre Presbyterian 
church, now Iredell County, N. C. 

He and his seven brothers, viz : Doctor Ephraim, John, 
Hugh, Adam, Robert, Benjamin and Joseph, were sol- 

'i ^'J' 





diers in the American Army. On account of this the 
British burned his dwelling and all other buildings on 
his premises February 1, 1781. He entered the army as 
cadet and was promoted to lieutenant and captain; 
served in the North Carolina line during the entire war, 
participated in the battles of White Plains, Trenton, 
Princeton, Brandywine, Stony Point, Monmouth and 
Germantown in the North with Washington, and was en- 
gaged at Stono, Camden, Eutaw, Ninety-Six, and other 
■engagements in the South under General Greene. Cap- 
tain Brevard's descendants have been prominent in all 
sections of the Union in which they have resided, espec- 
ially in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and 
Alabama. His brother. Dr. Ephraim Brevard, prepared 
the Mecklenburg Declaration which was adopted at 
Charlotte May 20, 1775. He was one of the most learned 
men in his section, and served in the American army 
as surgeon. 

The Iron Company built Vesuvius Furnace and after- 
wards Mt. Tirzah Forge. General Graham built a resi- 
dence at Vesuvius and moved his family from Mecklen- 
burg to Lincoln County. Captain Brevard built at Mt. 
Tirzah and brought his family from Iredell County. 
January 1st, 1795, Brevard, Davidson and Graham, 
under the style of Joseph Graham & Co., purchased 
Forney's interest in the Vesuvius and Mt. Tirzah prop- 
erties. General Forney erected a forge near his resi- 
dence, Mt. Welcome, and bought other lands, and about 
1809 erected Madison (Derr) Furnace on Leeper's 
Creek about five miles from Lincolnton. He retained a 
half interest in the iron beds. In 1804 Davidson retired 
from the copartnership and its name was changed to 


Alexander Brevard & Co. In 1788 the State enacted a 
law granting three thousand acres of land as a bounty 
to encourage the manufacture of iron. The law pro- 
vided that upon application to the County Court by any 
one desiring to enter such land a jury should be ap- 
pointed to view the lands proposed to be appropriated 
and report that they were not fit for cultivation and if 
the applicant produced to the Court in three years evi- 
dence that he had made five thousand pounds of iron 
the surveyor was ordered to survey the same and issue 
a grant to the applicant. These "bounty lands" were 
exempted from taxation for ten years. Under this act, 
in 1795, they entered three thousand acres extending 
from where Machpelah Church now stands beyond 
Alexis, on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Captain 
Brevard and General Graham continued their copartner- 
ship until 1814, when they dissolved. Brevard built 
Rehoboth (Reinhardt) Furnace and Forge; Graham 
built Spring Hill Forge which was located on Leeper's 
Creek, where the Camps now reside, six miles from Lin- 

The iron manufacture was very remunerative, and 
he accumulated a good estate from it. Nearly every ob- 
ligation incurred in connection with it was made pay- 
able in some product of the forge or furnace — so many 
pounds for cutting a cord of wood or burning a load of 
charcoal, hauling wood into the pit, for labor in the 
works, or in any way connected therewith, hauling pro- 
duct to market, etc., etc. This condition of things made 
iron the basis of agreement between persons not con- 
nected with the iron works in many of their transac- 
tions, as almost any article could be turned into iron by" 


trading with the proprietors or laborers at the works. 
These works supplied the country to the west with cook- 
ing utensils and all other iron goods, also to the east 
as far as Hillsborough and divided the trade to Fayette- 
ville with the Pennsylvania product brought by water. 
With the South Carolina manufacturers it supplied 
Camden, Cheraw, etc., until met by northern goods im- 
ported through Charleston. When crops were "laid by" 
and between gathering and planting time, teams would 
haul the goods to different points, as Salisbury, Hills- 
borough, Greensboro, Wadesboro, Camden, Cheraw, 
etc., where they were deposited with agents (generally 
merchants) , who would sell them and account for sales 
when called upon. Greneral Graham's son, John D., 
haided castings to Fayetteville and exchanged them for 
cypress shingles to cover his dwelling. The western 
merchant generally came to the works with his wagons 
laden with the products of his section, such as cloth, 
woolen or flax or tow, leather, hides, dried beef hams, 
cheese, etc., etc., which he exchanged for iron goods. 
Sometimes these wagons would have to wait several 
days for their load, as there would be some ahead of 
them and each would be served in turn. A large pas- 
ture was usually reserved to accommodate the teams 
of those who were thus detained. These works supplied 
the United States Government with cannon balls and 
perhaps other products during the war of 1812-'14:. 
These were hauled to the Catawba River and shipped 
by flat-boat to Charleston. The product of the furnace 
was usually cast into some vessel or article. Each day 
before sunset the "blast" was stopped and the molten 
metal dipped by ladles and poured into the moulds 


which had been prepared. The mould of the pot was 
the most difficult to prepare. An efficient moulder was 
generally denominated a potter. On Sunday, and some- 
times during the week if the ore melted faster than was 
needed for castings, the contents were put into pig-iron, 
so-called because in the bed of sand which was prepared 
for it there was formed a long piece (the sow) to which 
many perpendicular pieces (the pigs), two and a half 
feet long, were attached. When sufficiently cold the 
pigs were broken from the sow and the sow into pieces 
about the same length as a pig. The forge made 
wrought-iron as distinguished from the pigs and cast- 
ings of the furnace, such as wagon-tire, crow-bars, horse 
shoes, plows, chain-iron, mattocks, etc. The blacksmith 
took the plow mould and made the plows called bull- 
tongues, straight shovels, and twisters or turning 
shovels. In the early years the forge manufactured the 
pig into wrought-iron, but about 1840 a process was 
introduced to make the wrought-iron direct from the 
ore. The forge required no Sunday work, the fire could 
be made and extinguished each day. The furnace, when 
fire was once lighted, usually continued in "blast" at 
least six months ; stopping for any length of time caused 
a "chill" which it was impossible to reduce to a molten 
state and rendered a complete cleaning out and new 
hearth necessary. It had to be fed "Sunday as well as 
Monday." The "cupola" was really a small furnace in 
which pig metal was molted to be cast into utensils, ma- 
chinery, etc. The fire and contents could be removed 
and replenished daily. It, as well as the forge, was fre- 
quently in "blast" when the furnace was "out." Lime 


was required as a "flux" to assist in smelting the iron- 
ore. In General Graham's time this was hauled from 
King's Mountain, nearly forty miles. Two years after 
his death lime was discovered about one mile west of 
the iron bed and four from the works. It is remarkable 
that as the Lincoln County iron beds were a continua- 
tion of those of King's Mountain, it never occurred to 
the owners to examine for limestone in their vicinity. 
Between the iron and the limestone there is a vein of 
"hearth" rock, so called from its being used for hearths 
in the furnaces and forges. It is a sand rock containing 
much micaceous slate. This rock can be easily ground 
and with an admixture of clay would make a fire-brick 
of superior quality. 

General Graham continued the manufacture of iron 
until 1834, when he transferred the business to his sons, 
John Davidson and Alfred. Alfred had removed to 
Tennessee near his brothers, Joseph and Dr. George 
Franklin, who resided in the vicinity of Memphis. He 
contracted cold on his return trip to North Carolina, 
and died soon after reaching Vesuvius. John declined 
to accept the property, as it was of much greater value 
than one child's share of his father's estate, unless the 
other children would receive the excess due them in the 
products of the furnace and forge. He applied to the 
family arrangement the method by which the business 
had been conducted with the public. This being settled, 
General. Graham removed to a new house he had built 
about a mile down the creek from Vesuvius on what was 
then known as the Earhardt place, where the writer now 
resides. The house was burned in 1894, but a new 


building was erected on the site. John D. Graham, in 
1842, transferred Spring Hill Forge to his son, Charlea 

C, who operated it until 1848, when he sold to 

Hammerschold, from Sweden, whose family conducted 

the business until 1862, when they sold it to 

Staton, then a refugee from Edgecombe County. The 
forge was washed away in 1868 and the land is now 
owned by the children of the late L. S. Camp. 

He transferred Vesuvius Furnace, in 1846, to his sons, 
Joseph Montrose and James Franklin. They conveyed 
it, in 1849, to Charles C. Graham and Bphraim Bre- 
vard. Brevard purchased Graham's interest. He died 
in 1854, and bequeathed the property to his nephews, 
Alexander F. and Ephraim J. Brevard. In 1861 they 
sold it to the late J. Madison Smith, whose son, Frank- 
lin, now owns the property and resides upon it. 



Captain Brevard operated Mount Tirzah Forge and 
Rehoboth Furnace until his death in 1829. He be- 
queathed Mount Tirzah to his son, Eobert A., who oper- 
ated it until about 1870, being assisted sometimes by 
his sons, Alexander F. and Ephraim J. It was washed 
away in 1880, and a flouring and saw mill occupied 
its site until 1902, when the dam was torn out. 

Rehoboth was bequeathed to his son, Ephraim, who 
operated it until 1852, when he purchased Vesuvius and 
moved there. He sold Rehoboth to parties who sold to 
F. M. Eeinhardt and Bartlett Shipp, and it is generally 
known as the Reinhardt Furnace. About 1873 it was 
purchased by John Leonard & Co., of New York, who 


operated it for several years. It is now owned by J. E. 

General Forney bequeathed Mount Welcome Forge 
and Madison Furnace to his son-in-law, Dr. William 
Johnston, who, together with his children, conducted 
them until 1860, when Jonas Derr purchased the fur- 
nace and operated it until 1878. His estate now owns 
it. The forge was sold to J. D. M. Bolinger. It was 
washed away about 1868, and the Mariposa Cotton 
Mills, Captain Joseph Graham Morrison, proprietor, 
now occupy its site. 

About 1804 the Fullenwiders "entered" the land now 
known as the Fullenwider, or Brevard, bank, just north 
of the Big Ore Bank, and erected a forge on Maiden 
Creek, about one mile from the present town of Maiden. 
They conveyed the property to Mr. John A. Hayes. Col- 
onel Ephraim Brevard purchased from him and at his 
death, in 1854, bequeathed it to his nephews, Alexander 
F. and Ephraim J. The forge was operated by proprie- 
tor or lessee until 1880. The Providence Cotton Mill 
now (1902) occupies its site. 

Turner Abernathy received a grant for the most 
northern iron bed of the Lincoln system, now known 
as the Abernathy bank. He built Mount Carmel Forge 
on Mountain Creek in Catawba County. He sold the 
property to Isaac E. Paine. The forge was operated 
until 1868, when it was washed away. 

In 1849, Colonel Ephraim Brevard built "Rough and 
Ready" Forge on Mountain Creek. He sold it to J. 
Madison Smith. It was operated until 1868, when it 
was washed away in the great freshet in April. 


During tlie Confederate War, J. Madison Smith 
erected Stonewall Furnace on Anderson's Creek. It 
was operated until 1876, and the property now belongs 
to his estate. 

During the Confederate War Alexander Goodson, in 
copartnership with some of his neighbors, built a forge 
on Leeper's Creek. They bought ore from the owners of 
the iron beds. The forge was operated until about 1867, 
but has long since gone to decay. 

This account has no direct connection with Joseph 
Graham. It will preserve, however, the history of the 
Lincoln County Iron Works during an important period 
of the State's history. 

6. WAR OF i8i2-'r4. 


He served several terms as Brigadier General and 
also as Major General of the State Militia, and main- 
tained his connection with the military department of 
the State for a long time. In those days the Major and 
Brigadier Generals and the field officers of the regi- 
ments (Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and Major) of the 
militia of the State were elected by the Legislature, the 
term of ofl&ce being three years. This was afterwards 
changed and the field officers were elected by the com- 
pany officers and the generals by the regimental and 
company officers. Afterwards the election of all officers 
was given to the rank and file. The Captain's "beat" 
or district included the territory in which the men of 
his company resided. Its boundaries were determined 


by a court-martial selected from the commissioned of- 
ficers of the regiment to which the company belonged. 
The regimental boundaries generally comprised a 
county, but where there was more than one regiment in 
a county the boundaries were determined by a majority 
of the commissioned officers composing the regiments in 
said county. The boundaries of brigades and divisions 
were determined by the Legislature. All persons liable 
to duty (from 18 to 45 years of age) residing in the Cap- 
tain's beat were enrolled by him. They were required 
to "turn out" for muster at least twice each year. Each 
regiment or battalion at least once each year. Each 
brigade once in two years. Each division once in three 
years. All violations of military rules and regula- 
tions were adjudicated by a court-martial composed of 
officers selected from the command then on muster — 
whether company or regiment. Its findings had all the 
force of law attending a decision of a Justice of the 
Peace or a Judge, and were executed by Constable or 
Sheriii with the same faithfulness. The Captain's -'beat" 
or district was the unit of organization in the State, as 
the township has been since 1868. 

In January, 1814, President Madison called upon the 
Governors of North and South Carolina each for a regi- 
ment of troops to sierve six months to reinforce General 
Andrew Jackson in his war with the Creek Indians in 
Alabama Territory, also upon the Governor of North 
Carolina to suggest a General for appointment to com- 
mand the brigade formed of these two regiments. The 
North Carolina regiment was taken from the counties 



of Iredell, Captain George Lee Davidson; Iredell, Cap- 
tain Thomas Crawford; Mecklenburg, Captain Eobert 
Hood; ;l]Mecklenburg, Captain John Garretson; Ran- 
dolph, Captain Joshua Craven; Lincoln, Captain Ed- 
ward Lee Gingles; Lincoln, Captain John McLane; 
Rowan, Captain John Frost; Rowan, Captain Jacob 
Krider; Wilkes, Captain James Martin; Surry, Captain 
William P. Waugh, cavalry. It was known as the 
"Seventh Regiment of North Carolina Militia in service 
of United States." A company was drafted from each reg- 
iment, ten men being taken from each company. Pieces 
of paper were placed in a hat or box, all being blank 
except the number of papers corresponding to the num- 
ber of men required. These papers were marked in some 
way. The men, as their names were called, drew the 
papers ; those who drew the marked slips were required 
to go into service. The company officers required were 
assigned or detailed by the colonels of the different regi- 
ments. The field officers were selected by the Governor. 
Most of the troops were from the command of Brigadier 
<reneral Ephraim Davidson, of Iredell County. He 
was offered the command, but being in feeble health 
declined. Governor Hawkins, anticipating this, had re- 
quested their mutual friend, Mr. Archibald (Baldy) 
Henderson, of Salisbury, to write General Graham that 
he thought such would be the case ; that he intended to 
offer him the command and would be glad if he would 
arrange his personal business to enter at once upon the 
duties. This required considerable sacrifice on the part 
of General Graham, as he had just dissolved his copart- 
nership with Captain Brevard in the manufacture of 


iron and was arranging to conduct the business alone. 
He, however, accepted the position. 

Some time early in March the men who were to go 
from the vicinity of Vesuvius Furnace assembled at the 
"^Tarr" (Derr) place, afterwards known as the Osborne 
Ballard place, now owned by S. A. Whitener, near Kids- 
ville, with General Graham. At Beattie's Ford they met 
the men from the East Lincoln regiment. The company 
was formed, Captain G. L. Gingles taking command. 
They moved to Salisbury, where the regiment was orga- 
nized, with Colonel Jesse A. Pearson, of Rowan County, 
commanding. The regiment marched by way of Wades- 
boro to Columbia, where it met the South Carolina regi- 
ment and the brigade was formed. Some of the friends 
of the Lincoln County men, and perhaps others, accom- 
panied the troops to Columbia in their wagons on a 
business trip, as was annually done from this section. 
They reported that there was a big dinner, toasts and 
speech-making prior to the departure of the troops from 

The following is a copy of the roster obtained from 
the ,War Department at Washington of the field and 
staff officers of the two regiments composing the 

brigade : 

Seventh Noeth Caeolina Regiment. 

Jesse A. Pearson, Col. of Rowan County. 
Richard Atkinson, Lt. Colonel, Person County. 
David Kerr, Major, Mecklenburg County. 
Samuel Turrentine, Major, Orange County. 
Francis Irvine, 2nd. Lt. and Adjutant. 
Robert Torrance, 1st. Lt. and Quartermaster. 
Alexander Nesbitt, 3rd. Lt. and Paymaster. 
Stephen L. Ferrand, Surgeon. 


South Caeolina Regiment. 

Reuben Nash, Lt. Colonel- 

John McMillan, Major. 

John Miller Major. 

Edmund "Ware, Lieutenant and Adjutant. 

Beaufort T. Watts, Paymaster. 

Walter S. Adear, Ensign and Quartermaster. 

John H. Miller. Surgeon. 



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The command did not reach the seat of war until after 
the battle of Horse Shoe, which victory compelled the 
submission of the Indians. It was detained at Salis- 
bury after organization more than a month by the 
failure of the United States War Department to earlier 
provide funds for its equipment and support. It re- 
ceived the surrender of several hundred Indians, and 
was used to garrison forts thought necessary to keep the 
Indians in subjection. Some detachment of this com- 
mand were in skiiMiishes, but there was no engagement 
in which the whole participated. 

General Graham had frequent "talks" with some of 
the Indian chiefs looking to their submission and peace. 

It not being certain that troops would not be needed 
when the six months of these expired, in September, in 
July a draft was made for men to supply their places. 
General Graham's son, James, who had the month be- 
fore graduated at Chapel Hill, was among the number 
"taken" from the Vesuvius company of militia. These, 
however, were not sent to the front. The regiment re- 
turned to North Carolina and was "mustered out" the 
latter part of August. 

Many valuable papers referring to this expedition 
were burned in my house in 1894, the loss of which 
forces me to abbreviate an account of it. It will be noted 
that this command is placed under the command of Col- 
onel John Graham by Mrs. Spencer in her First Steps 
of North Carolina History, also that Major Moore, in 
his School History, has Joseph Graham's name correct, 
but is in error as to his rank and command, assigning 
him as Colonel only of the North Carolina regiment. 

I have obtained from the archives of the office of the- 


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Governor at Raleigh, N. C, the following papers re- 
lating to this campaign : 

1. Acceptance of the office of Brigadier General of the 

Lincoln County, N. C, 6 Feby., 1814. 

Sns: — The last General AssemiMy having appointed me to com- 
mand tlie Militia of the tenth Brigade in this State in pursuance 
of the act of the Assemibly in such cases, I notify your Excellency 
that I accept of the said appointment. 

If any additional requisition besides the regiment now ordered 
to Georgia or in any other service the militia from the western 
part ,of the State may be called out so as to require an officer of 
higher grade than comtaanding the present detachment I shall be 
highly gratified to be sent there. 

I suppose your Excellency is acquainted that the Militia have 
always been tenacious of being under the command of the officer 
of their own regiment, brigade or division. 

During the Revolutionary War it was deemed policy to indulge 
them in their choice as far as practicable and I suppose will be 
found so again. 

As I have not the honor of a personal acquaintance with you, if 
an occasion offers requiring a brigade from the West, I would refer 
you to Col. Wm. Polk or any other gentleman who has been in the 
army with me relative to the propriety of my being called into ser- 
vice in such case. 

I am &c with due respects 
Your Excellency's most 
obedient servant 
To Gov. Hawkins. J. Geaham. 

This letter from General Graham passed "en route" 
the following one from the Governor to him. The Gov- 
ernor, after asking Mr. Henderson to write to General 
Graham, as stated elsewhere wrote him from his home 
in Granville County as follows: 

GBANvniE, 10th Feb., 1814. 
Sie: — I am requested by Maj.-Genl. Thos. Pinckney to furnish the 
Brigadier General to command the troops of the Carolinas recently 


ordered against the hostile Oreek Indians. As Brigadier General 
Davidson is of the Detachment he of course has been designated to 
command. I have in my instructions requested the General in the 
event of his being unable from indisposition or ajny other cause to 
take command to inform me of it by express to Raleigh as soon 
as practicable to the end that another selection may be made. 

Having resolved to offer the command to you in case Genl. David- 
son declines serving I have deemed it proper to apprise you of it 
this early in order that you may have sufficient time to determine 
whether you v?ill accept or not. 

I am; very respectfully 
Your Obedient servant 
To Genl. Graham. William Havtkins. 

2. General Davidson having declined, the Governor 
sent a commission to General Graham by "express," 
which in those days meant by a special messenger. In 
accepting the commission, General Graham sent the fol- 
lowing letter: 

Lincoln County, 27th Feby., 1814. 

Sir: — Last evening your favor by express was received with the 
enclosures tendering the command to me of the detached Militia 
of the Carolinas. I will inform your Excellency that I cheerfully 
accept it not without some diffidence. 

I did expect the brigade would only compose a part of the force 
destined against the Indians, and that Genl. Pinckney or some other 
would have commanded the whole but find it intimated in his letter 
that the command will probably be vested in the officer from this 
State. My best exertions will be used to meet the expectations of 
your Excellency and my country; but it may be that what is called 
"the fate of war" or other causes might produce disappointments; 
yet you may be assured that whatever the fate may be I shall act 
with upright intentions and am in hopes that the high honor your 
Excellency has done me may be found not to be misplaced. I have 
my uniform on the way making it of such material as can be pro- 
cured in this part of the State. I am sorry to say I can not have 
it agreeable to the standard required. It will be a week or ten 
days from this date before I can start to Fort Hawkins. I learn 


Col. Pearson will probably march torn'orrow and think I can be In 
Georgia about the same time of his arrival. The notice being so 
short and everything to provide, it is really out of my power to go 
at an earlier day. 

Not having any person in view really qualified to discharge the 
duties of Brigade Major from your Bixcellency's and General Cam- 
eron's recommendations of Capt. William McCauley I have written 
to him on the subject and I presum'e from the expectations he has 
had of appointment that he is ready at any time to come on. 
I am with sentiment of respect 

Your Excellency's most obedient 

and humble servant, 

To Gov. Hawkins. J. Graham. 

3. Governor Hawkins sent the following letter in re- 
ply to this communication: 

Executive Office, N. C, 
Raleigh, 8 March, 1814. 

Snt: — Yours of the 27th ult. I have had the pleasure to receive. 
The acceptance on your part of the command of the Brigade of the 
two Carolinas ordered against the hostile Creek Indians is a circum- 
stance I do assure you to me as is highly gratifying as it was to 
learn from gentlemen direct from Salisbury that the troops from 
this State were not only pleased but considered themselves as for- 
tunate in having you as their commander. 

Capt. William McCauley in conformity with your appointment 
has been commissioned your Brigade Major. I deem it unnecessary 
to swell this letter with instructions. So soon as your staff and 
yourself are in readiness to do so; you will repair to your Brigade 
at Port Hawkins, Ga. 

I must ask you to communicate to me the important occurrences 
of the campaign and beg you to accept an assurance of the great 
confidence and esteem with which I have the honor to be Sir, 
Yours obediently. 

To Gen. J. Graham. William Hawkins. 


Papers relating to War of 1812-'14 : 

1. To Maj. Genl. Pinckney. 

Port Lawbence, April 6tli, 1814. 
Dear Genl.: — On the 2nd Inst, we passed the Oomulgee, 
marched 9 miles to a creek, the wagons furnished by the Qr. Mas- 
ter are several of them Incompetent, stalled, &c. the men were with 
out provisions until after 9 o'clock on the 3d when the wagons 

Marched about 12 o'clock, appearance of rain in the evening, en- 
camped about 12 miles from this place, a number of men newly 
taken with the measles. 

On the 4th it rained incessantly great part of the day; consider- 
ing the state of health of the detachment, did not march. On the 
5th marched at 8 o'clock, arrived at the agency at one. Flint River 
high with rains of preceeding day, had to wait for fixing .oars to 
flat; the troops passed and wagons, (all but 4; this m'orning), at a 
late hour in the night. 

Am about to march now 8 o'clock. I & Lieut, leave the detach- 
ment for the frontier, expect to arrive at Fort Perry to night & 
each day following from post to post, expect Col. Pearson, if the 
weather be favorable, will proceed faster, as the Teams are lighter 
& no water courses In the way. In pursuance of the ,order of the 

I have ordertd 1 Lieut. 1 Sergt. 1 Corpl. & 30 men to relieve Lieut. 
Cohen; men chiefly bad with the measles & suppose the detachment 
will be obliged to leave some more who are unable to proceed. 
I have the honor to be 
With the Greatest Respect 
Your Excellency's most Obdt. 
Humble Servt., 

Joseph Geaham, 
His ESxcellency Genl. Pinckney. Brigadier Oenl. 

2. General Graham sent Governor Hawkins the fol- 
lowing account of occurrences: 

April 26, 1814. 
Camp near confluence of Coosa and Talapoosa, head of Alabam'a; 
170 miles nearly north of Pensacola, same distance east of 
Fort Stoddard, 260 miles nearly west of Natchez, 280 miles 


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nearly south of Nashville, Tenn., 179 miles from Milledge- 
ville, Ga., in the center of the Creek Nation. A circle of 160 
miles taking this as the center would include hut few white 
Sib: — Owing to the measles and other sickness among the troops 
together with the wet weather and high waters the rear detach- 
ment from North Carolina did not arrive on the frontier until the 
15th Inst. On the 16th the army of the center corps crossed the 
Talapoosa and in the evening formed a junction with the right 
under Genl. Jackson; on the 18th arrived at this place; by intelli- 
gence since received the enemy dispersed in various directions on 
the night of the 19th. A number of chiefs and others have com"e 
in and given up. There has been no fighting since the 17th ult. 
with Genl. Jackson at Horse Shoe; the official account of which 
you have seen nor is it probable there will be any more this cam- 

We detached 700 men on 20th Inst, down west side of Alabama; 
were gone two days, saw nor effected anything but burnt about a 
dozen Indian towns. On the 26th we sent out a detachment of 200 
men with five days provisions over the Talapoosa on a trail leading 
towards Escumbla and Pensacola; horses, etc., conveying the party 
have not yet returned. One .other detachment is expected to be sent 
out about fifty miles to the west after some gone to the waters of 
Cahaba. Genl. Jackson began his return march from this place for 
Tennessee on the 20th inst. His men's term of service from west 
Tenn., which are the greatest part, expires ,on the 28th inst., when 
they leave we will not have mtore than to garrison the chain of 
forts from this to Tenn. and make excursions on head of Cahaba 
and Black Warrior Rivers, etc. Our present force here is Brigade 
from Carolinas, two companies of artillery, a troop of dragoons, 
39th Regiment of Regulars and some of the detached companies of 
same under Col. Milton. The army of the left under Col. Russell 
ascending the Alabama has not yet joined, expected in a day or 
two. Genl. Pinckney and his staff arrived here the day previous 
to Genl. Jackson's march. This day we began a regular fortifica- 
tion with five salient angles a quarter of a mile from here on the 
old French fort Thoulouse at which lies iron cannon with the 
trunion broken off said to be evacuated in the year 1755. 

I hope your Excellency will excuse my not writing sooner as I 
had nothing worthy of comanunication and time was not to be 
spared. You will accept thanks together with Col. Polk for the in- 


terest taken in my outfit. Everything was duly received by Major 
McCauley; as I have not time to write to Col. Polk 1 hope you will 
let him see this hasty scrap. Our troops are lately more healthy; 
are chagrined thinking it will be an inglorious campaign not hav- 
ing an opportunity to discharge a single musket at an enemy. 
I have the honor to be, with great respect, 
Your Excellency's most obdt. servt., 
To Gov. Hawkins. J. Graham. 

3. The following is of the nature of an "order" : 

Camp near Fort Jackson, Fort Coosa & Tallapoosa, 

April 28th, 1814. 
Lieutenant Kenedy: — On the receipt of this, you will take of the 
Garrison at Fort Bainbridge 1 Sergt. 1 CoTpl. & 12 privates, the 
Condg. Officer at said Fort, is hereby directed to detail that number 
for you, with them you are directed without delay to proceed to 
FoTt Mitchell & relieve Lieutenant Thompson & take command of 
the Fort, together with the detachm'ent he has under his command, 
taking instruction from him & such orders as may transmitted to 
you from time to time. Lieutenant Thompson will repair to Head 
Quarters & report himself to Col. Nash. 
Your most Obt., 
Lieut. Kenedt. Joseph Gkaham, B. G. 

Colonel Pearson, commanding the North Carolina 
regiment, made the following report to General Graham 
of operations under his command : 

Camp near the confluence of Coosa and Talapoosa, 

June 13, 1814. 

Sib: — In the communication I had the honor to make to you on 
the 1st inst. I informed you that previous to leaving Hotawa I had 
made arrangem'ents to have some other tribes of the Alabama hos- 
tiles brought in and two of their prophets; in the success of which 
I was not a little sanguine. 

I have now Sir the satisfaction to inform you that I have not 
been entirely disappointed. At Camp near the Tewala Town where 
I had previously sent Capt. Crawford with a strong guard we re- 
ceived the surrender of fourteen warriors of the Calauda Town and 
fifty-four women and children. Among the number of men is 


Naututgee a prophet of (I presume) considerable note as lie ab- 
jures his former doctrines and says he was led astray by the "bad 
talks of the Otter men." His surrender is unconditional. I have 
not thought it necessary to confine him otherwise than keeping a 
guard over him in connection with the other prisoners where he 
will remain subject to your orders. On the same day forty-seven 
warriors and one hundred and seventeen women and children of 
the Tewasa Town surrendered and fourteen warriors and forty- 
seven women and children of the Oakcheia Town making a total in 
this surrender of 283 and in the whole number of prisoners as the 
result of this expedition 622. 

The prophet Paddy is not yet in but I have Intelligence upon 
which I think I can rely that he is on the way. He has sent me a 
talk that he will come without being forced and that "he has been 
a fool." He has no following which I presume has been the case 
with most of them. I have not trusted to his word but have sent 
a few Indians upon whom I can rely (I think) to accompany him 
in and shall look for them in a few days. 

I can not close this communication without tendering you my 
acknowledgments of the solicitude manifested by you and the 
exertions you have caused to be made to forward an additional sup- 
ply of provisions as soon as it was discovered that the objects of the 
expedition had so greatly enlarged as to render a supply indispen- 

With sentiments of my higih respect, 

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 

J. A. Peaeson, 
Col. N. 0. State troops in V. S. Service. 

To Brig. Gen. Joseph Graham, 

Oomdg. the Army of the centre at Fort Jackson. 

After General Graham returned home he wrote the 
following letter to Governor Hawkins, informing him 
that a portion of the North Carolina regiment had vol- 
untarily remained in service after their term had ex- 
pired until others to take their places arrived : 

Vesuvius I^bnace, 24th Aug., 1814. 
Bear Sib: — Knowing the solicitude manifested by you and the 
interest you felt in mattiers relating to the detached militia from. 


this State on the expedition to the Creek Nation; I take the liberty 
of informing your Excellency that several of the soldiers passed the 
20th inst. who had been left in the garrison at Fort Decatur. They 
left the Talapoosa on the 1st day of August; the day their term of 
service expired. The troops were in good health but few complaints 
of indigestion and no deaths siince the Brigade left there. They 
stated that a number of the chiefs had passed that place on their 
way to Fort Jackson; the place of holding the treaty; that (Lt.) 
Col. Atkinson proposed to the garrison to remain ten days after the 
expiration of their term of service; being informed by Genl. Jack- 
son that the Tennessee Militia could not be there earlier. Notwith- 
standing their term of service had expired and they were five hun- 
dred miles from their homes; three hundred and fifty volunteered 
to remain with the Col. until relieved; the balance were ofl5cered 
and sent on. This Sir is practical patriotism; that such a number 
of men so far distant from home, having served their six months; 
their clothing nearly worn out; should when their services were 
wanted, although every legal claim thedr country had on them was 
discharged, volunteer under such circumstances is highly honorable 
to the troops and I think new in the annals of Militia service. Those 
who came on were placed under command of Capt Hood; when they 
reached Fort Hawkins they found three companies of detached Geor- 
gia Militia drawing arms and designated to garrison the Ports 
Lawrence, Perry and Mitchell which had been committed to the 
charge of the South Carolina Regiment. 
I have the honor to be with great respect, 
Your Excellency's m'ost obdt. servant, 

Jos. Geaham. 
To his Excellency Wm. Hawkins. 

4. In tlie following letter General Graham offers his 
services to the Governor for another campaign : 

Salisbuby, N. C, Sept. 8, 1814. 

Deae Sie: — Since the arrival of the last mail finding it probable 
that the War will assume a new aspect (if it) continues) I am in- 
duced again to place my name among those oflicers out of whom a 
choice is to be made to command the detached Militia. Having 
become accustomed in some measure to the details of duty and the 
intercourse between the different departments attached to the army 
.agreeable to present usage; which I found to differ from what it was 

"'2-- '^'^^^iJ 


formerly, and having most of ttie outfit ready for a camipaign, I can 
go with much less inconvenience than formerly; therefore if your 
Excellency thinks proper, you are at liberty to appoint me to the com- 
mand of the 3rd Brigade of this State. However as I have already 
been honored by appointment to service for one tour if any others 
have offered their services that meet your Excellency's approba- 
tion I submit that to serve the tour will be theirs to come. I shall 
cheerfully acquiesce in your decision. 

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect, 
Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

Jos. Geaham, B. G. 
To his Excellency Gov. Wm. Hawkins. 



About 1784 or '85 General Graham purchased a farm 
on Catawba River, in Mecklenburg County, just below 
Tuckasegee Ford, and another tract of land at the forks 
of the road about a mile from the ford as you go to Char- 
lotte, generally known as the Red House. After his 
marriage he lived at the latter place until he moved to 
Lincoln County, in 1792. 

His comrade in arms and legislation, General Joseph 
Dickson, resided about three miles distant, across the 
river in Lincoln County, where Mr. U. M. Johnston now 
lives, and where General Rutherford halted the night 
before the battle of Ramsour's Mill, awaiting tidings 
from Captain Palls' command. They opened a view be- 
tween their residences and by means of flags communi- 
cated with each other. 


Soon after his removal to Lincoln County, the mail 
route mentioned in the legislative proceedings of 1790 


was established. It did not go to Charlotte, but at 
Salisbury turned off via. Lincolnton, Rutherford, etc. 
This was at first a horseback route, and so continued 
until 1820. The service from Raleigh to Salisbury was 
once a week and from Salisbury via Lincolnton and 
Rutherfordton to Spartanburg, S. C, once in two 
weeks. In 1831 the letting of mail contracts provides 
for four-horse coaches twice a week from Raleigh to 
Lincolnton, and two-horse stage once a week from 
Lincolnton via. Rutherfordton to Asheville. This was 
soon afterwards changed to four-horse coaches and daily 
mail over the entire route from Washington city, and 
so continued until the railway and steam engine sup- 
planted the horse and stage coach. The stage coach 
driver, as he handled his team of four, like the conduc- 
tor on the cars in later years, was the admiration of the 
country youth. The driver carried a tin bugle from 
four to six feet long and when within a mile or so of the 
post-office to announce his coming "blew a blast," which 
reverberated over hUl and dale, and which, when well 
done, was long remembered by those who heard it. The 
driver prided himself much in the execution of this 
blast, how he could make it roll over the country, and 
in turning corners with his team. About twenty-five 
miles apart stables were kept with fresh horses; these 
were harnessed before the arrival of the stage and the 
stop was but for a few moments. 

Among the first offices established when the route was 
by horseback were Beattie's Ford and Vesuvius Fur- 
nace. Beattie's is perhaps the finest ford on the Ca- 
tawba River. Nearly all roads from contiguous terri- 
tory pointed to and were "sign-boarded" to it. Vesu- 


vius Furnace being on the main line of travel, General 
Graham's acquaintances frequently visited him in pass- 
ing. The furnace and accompanying buildings were im- 
mediately on the road, the family residence was about 
two hundred yards distant, approached over three ter- 
races, through an avenue of cedars. The United States 
records giving date of establishment of this route have 
been burned, so the date can not be ascertained. 

He became a Justice of the Peace soon after his re- 
moval to Lincoln County, and served as such until his 
death, in 1836. At that time the Legislature appointed 
these officers, who continued in office for "life or good 
behavior." The Justices of the Peace in each county 
annually elected five of their number to preside over the 
Court of "Common Pleas and Quarterly Sessions," gen- 
erally called County Courts, to distinguish them from 
Superior Courts. This Court had jurisdiction of petty 
crimes and civil actions for limited amounts. He was 
frequently elected a member of this board. The Magis- 
trate's office was of much greater importance then than 
now. To aid him in the discharge of his duties, he pur- 
chased Blackstone's Commentaries (four volumes) and 
some volumes of reports of decisions of cases by Courts 
of Review. He was frequently appointed commissioner 
to divide estates, lay off public roads and perform other 
duties for the public good. He could formulate any in- 
strument desired by his neighbors and was of much ser- 
vice to them. I think he could have easily passed an 
examination for license to practice law. He frequently 
had a good deal of merriment on wedding occasions; 
was an expert civil engineer and surveyor, and did most 


of the work in that line in this section for many years, 
as the records show. On one occasion he sold Rev. 
Henry Asbury and another young man tracts of land. 
The day appointed for them to come for the plats and pa- 
pers was very raw and cold, with a heavy fall of snow ; 
but the young men were on hand bright and early. After 
complimenting them very much on their punctuality, he 
remarked how much trouble was occasioned by tardi- 
ness or neglect to meet appointments and what a desira- 
ble trait promptness was in a young man. As they were 
leaving he remarked, "Now, young gentlemen, just be 
as punctual on pay day." He was a man of nerve and 
some surgical knowledge. Occasionally he would ac- 
commodate his neighbors in emergencies by setting frac- 
tured limbs, sewing bad cuts, and on one or two occasions 
by releasing jaws that had been unhinged by yawning. 

He was an expert swordsman, and at log rollings, 
house raisings, harvest time or other occasions which 
gathered the neighbors together, would challenge some 
of the young men for combat with hickory canes instead 
of swords. He would give them permission to strike 
him if they could. His antagonist would endeavor in 
good earnest to do so, but soon found his cane knocked 
out of his hand and received a sound tap on the head. 


From about 1825 there was an organization in the 
State advocating State aid to internal improvements. 
It held meetings annually or bi-ennially in Raleigh and 
appointed in each judicial district a commission to pro- 
mote the cause. The members were expected to call meet- 
ings or "convocations" and to have addresses delivered to 


the people on this subject at the different court-houses 
during court week, generally on Tuesday. General Gra- 
ham delivered one in Lincolnton at the spring term of 
Court in 1829. He advocated cleaning out the rivers for 
navigation to the highest available point and then con- 
structing turnpikes across the country from the "land- 
ings" on the principal rivers. This was before the days of 
railroads. This organization probably did much to edu- 
cate the people up tO' State aid to internal improve- 
ment, which policy afterwards prevailed. While a 
member of the Legislature he voted for the measure to 
render the Catawba River navigable and granting ap- 
priation for that purpose. Up to the time of his death 
there was boating on the Catawba River from Aber- 
nathy's (Rozzell's) Ferry to Charleston, S. C. These 
boats passed by canal at Columbia from the Pee Dee to 
the Congaree. The shoals or ledges of rock in the river 
where very extensive were avoided by cutting a canal 
around them. At Mountain Island, in Gaston County, 
one of these canals still exists, and is used by the pro- 
prietors of the mill in conducting the water to the 

At Land's Ford, in South Carolina, there were exten- 
sive works, somewhat similar to "locks." The place was 
a "seaport" town on a small scale. This accounts for 
the "sign-boards" at forks of roads fifty or sixty miles 
distant naming Land's Ford among the points to which 
the road led. Some of these "sign-boards" were stand- 
ing a few years ago. 

With the advent of railroads boating ceased on the 

The act of 1788 incorporated a company to open the 


Catawba River for navigation in Nortli Carolina one 
hundred miles, and the South Pork fifty miles. Exclu- 
sive navigation of the stream was granted. The com- 
pany did not comply with the charter and upon petition 
of the people, in 1796, the charter was repealed ; the navi- 
gation of the river made free and men liable to road 
duty residing within five miles of the stream were re- 
quired to remove obstructions and keep the channel 
open for the passage of boats. 


He was much interested in education, and doubtless 
supported Judge Murphy in his endeavor for public 
schools. He was a member of the first Board of Trustees 
of the University, for the establishment of which insti- 
tution he had voted as a member of the Legislature. 
When Pleasant Retreat Academy, in Lincolnton, N. C, 
was established, in 1813, he took great interest in the en- 
terprise, and was placed upon the first Board of Trus- 
tees, and so continued until his death. He was fond of 
reading, especially history, and when so doing always 
had a dictionary and geography at command — said "the 
reader should always know what the writer said and 
where he was." He valued the advantage of a profes- 
sional education at |3,000, and made this difference in 
the division of his estate among his children, crediting 
the other sons with this amount against their profes- 
sional brothers. James, George Franklin and William 
A. were all graduates of the University. James and 
William A. were lawyers and George F. a physician. 
The other boys attended school in the vicinity and neigh- 
boring towns and assisted their father in his business. 


The college term of four years, the study for profession 
of two and the s.upport before the profession proved self- 
sustaining, show this not to have been an unreasonable 
amount of difference; 

He was ever ready to aid the boy of limited means in 
his neighborhood who exhibited a desire to obtain an 


He was fond of the Scotch-Irish dish of mush and 
milk for supper and it was never omitted from the fam- 
ily table— the mush in a white china bowl and the milk 
in a small pitcher. On one occasion the Governor of 
the State and another friend stopped for the night. The 
General's older children were just about grown, the son 
having graduated from Chapel Hill and the daughter 
from Salem. They did not like to set the mush and milk 
before the Governor. The son was sent to see if permis- 
sion could not be obtained for its omission. His reply 
was : "James, tell your sister she can make as many 
kinds of cake as she pleases, and put as many kinds of 
preserves on the table as she wishes, but I am as good as 
the Governor or anybody else, and I intend to have my 
mush and milk." "VSTien supper was served, to the sur- 
prise of the young people the Governor joined the Gene- 
ral in his mush and milk with a relish and consumed 
fully as much as he did. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Fred Nash at Unity 
there was considerable interest in the temperance move- 
ment and the formation of societies of Sons of Temper- 
ance. At a meeting held at Unity there was speaking in 
the morning, then recess for dinner and the organiza- 
tion of a society in the afternoon. During intermission 


names were solicited for membership. The General was 
active in urging persons to join. One of the young men 
on examining the list of names, remarked, "General, I 
do not see your name." He replied, "Oh, this is for the 
young men." 


The General was for many years a member of the 
Presbyterian Church and for more than ten years prior 
to his death a Ruling Elder of Unity and was active 
and faithful in the discharge of his duties. In 1787 
he married Isabella, second daughter of Major John 
Davidson, who came from Pennsylvania via. Rowan 
County (1740) to Mecklenburg County (1760) and 
located in the Hopewell congregation on the premises 
now owned by Joseph Graham Davidson, a descend- 
ant in the fourth generation. Davidson married Violet 
Wilson, a daughter of Samuel Wilson, who came to 
North Carolina in 1740. He was prominent in the 
affairs of his section. He was a Delegate to the Pro- 
vincial Legislature from Mecklenburg County in 1773. 
He held the positions of Major of Militia and Justice 
of the Peace, both under the Provincial and State Gov- 
ernment. He was a delegate to the convention, May 
20, 1775, at Charlotte, and as such signed the celebrated 
Declaration of Independence promulgated on that oc- 

He was Major of Colonel Polk's regiment in the cam- 
paign against the Scovillite Tories in 1775 ; also in that 
of Colonel Alexander in General Rutherford's campaign 
against the Cherokee Indians, in 1776. With his sons- 


in-law, Alexander Brevard and Josepli Graham, he was 
a pioneer in the manufacture of iron in Lincoln County, 
N. C. He died in 1832 in the ninety-seventh year of his 
age, ajid is buried with many of his descendants in the 
family cemetery on the farm where he first located. 

Major Davidson's other daughters married as fol- 

1. Sallie, Rev. Alexander Caldwell, pastor of Sugar 
Creek churchy a noted minister in his day. He was a son 
of the celebrated Rev. David Caldwell, D. D., of Guil- 
ford County. 

2. Rebecca, Captain Alexander Brevard, a noted of- 
ficer of the Revolutionary War, of whom mention has 
been made elsewhere in this book. 

3. Mary, usually called Polly, Dr. William McLean, 
of Lincoln, now Gaston, County, N. C, the most eminent 
physician of his time and section. He served as assis- 
tant surgeon in the Revolutionary War and also repre- 
sented his county in the two conventions which consid- 
ered the Constitution of the United States, and as mem- 
ber of the Legislature, 1788-1792. 

4. Betsey, married William Lee Davidson, son of the 
General, who fell at Cowan's Ford, February 1, 1780. 
Mr. Davidson was employed by General Graham as 
clerk in connection with the iron works before his sons 
were of sufficient age to assist him. Mrs. Graham was 
exceedingly kind and attentive to the orphan boy. He 
appreciated it and in after life it seemed a pleasure to 
him to speak of it to her children and grandchildren. 
Among other things he said that when the young people 
would propose to have a "pay" entertainment he fre- 
quently had nothing to contribute and would make some 


excuse for his proposed non-attendance. She seemed to 
know his trouble and would contrive to have a private 
interview, and handing him the necessary money would 
say, without any explanation, "Now, Billy, you go." 

5. Violet, married William Bain Alexander, who was 
for many yearsi Register of Deeds for Mecklenburg 

6. Margaret, married I^Iaj. James Harris and moved 
to Alabama. 

He also left three sons. 1. Eobert, usually called 
Robin, who married Peggy Osborne. They left no chil- 

2. John, commonly called Jackey, who married Sallie 
Brevard, of Iredell County. They left four sons and 
two daughters. 

3. Benjamin Wilson, born May 20, 1787, and called 
by his father on account of the date of his birth, "Inde- 
pendence Ben." He married Betsy Latta. They raised 
six sons. The three sons all lived within the bounds 
of the Hopewell congregation. 


John Beatty, a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, was among 
the first settlers in Lincoln County. In 1749 he located 
on the western side of the Catawba River near the mag- 
nificent ford which perpetuated his name — Seattle's 
Ford. About a mile from the ford he built a log house 
which was known as Beattie's Meeting-House, where 
religious services were held from the first occupation of 
the country by white people. The ajdherents of the Es- 
tablished Church designated the buildings of the other 
denominations as "meeting houses," prefixing the name 


of the denomination. This custom continued in use 
until the middle of the last century. Unity church was 
constituted in this house in 1801. In 1808 a larger 
building was erected. In a deed conveying additional 
land by James Lytle; James Connor, Alexander Bre- 
vard, John Reid and Joseph Graham are named as 
trustees and the "kirk" as Unity. The building was of 
logs, the floor gradually descending from the door to 
the pulpit, thus making the pews in tiers rising one 
above the other from the pulpit to the door. The pulpit 
was very high with a "hood" over it. There was a 
hooded pew on each side of it; one of these was occu- 
pied by the family of Captain John Reid, the other by 
that of Capt. Alexander Brevard. It is not known who 
were the pioneer preachers at this place. Rev. Hum- 
phrey Hunter came in 1796 and remained until 1801. 
Then came in the order named, Revs. Henry N. Pharr, 
Patrick Sparrow, James Adams, Frederick Nash, and 
R. H. Morrison, D. D., son-in-law of General Graham, 
whose services continued until "after the war." During 
Mr. Sparrows' pastorate camp meetings were estab- 
lished and continued several years. Some tents were 
erected by tHe members and occupied during the con- 
tinuance of the services. These tents were usually log 
cabins. This was one of the earliest "camp meetings" 
of this section. The Methodist established Eobey's 
Camp Ground in 1816; removed it to Rock Spring in 
1834, where services have been annually held up to this 
time (1902). 

The camp meetings at Unity were discontinued dur- 
ing the pastorate of Dr. Morrison. Captain Brevard 
and General Graham were members of Unity at its con- 


stitution, and trustees. Captain Brevard was a Ruling 
Elder from this time until his death, in 1829. General 
Graham for ten or twelve years prior to his death, in 

Most of the prominent citzens of the surrounding coun- 
try were members of Unity. Its greatest period of pros- 
perity was from 1830 to 1850 ; more than forty carriages 
brought worshippers regularly to its services, besides 
those who came in smaller vehicles or on foot. In cele- 
brating the Lord's Supper the church still preserves the 
old custom of using for tables two high benches made 
for the purpose; on lower benches the communicants ar- 
range themselves around the tables, the bread and wine 
are passed by the participants from one to another until 
the circuit is completed. A commodious, painted build- 
ing erected in 1833 now occupies the position.* 


In 1801, upon the death of Polly, the eldest child of 
General Graham, he and Capt. Brevard selected a spot 
as a "burying ground" about midway between Mt. Tirzah 
Forge and Vesuvius Furnace and enclosed it with a rock 
wall. It was near the public road, leading from Lin- 
colnton to Beattie's Ford and also near the location 
afterwards of the plank road from Charlotte to Lincoln- 
ton and ten miles from Lincolnton. 

Captain Brevard, at his death in 1829, bequeathed sev- 
eral hundred dollars for a church building at the bury- 
ing ground. Several years afterwards the matter re- 
ceived attention, other subscriptions were made and a 

♦NOTE— I am indebted to Broad Ax and Forg:e, by Hon. F. Brevard McDowell, 
Charlotte, N. 0., and to a sketch of Unity by Judge Nixon, O. S. C, Lincolnton, 
/or much of this article. 



> ,i%''^t^:^it^:.. 


neat brick building was erected. In 1848 Concord 
Presbytery constituted a churcli there, which was named 
itachpelah from its proximity to the cemetery. Eev. R. 
H. Morrison, D.D., was chosen pastor and served as such 
until services were abandoned in 1865. Dr. Morrison 
was a native of Cabarrus County, graduated at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina in 1818 in a class of which 
President Polk, Bishops Greene and Otey, Hons. Hugh 
Waddell and B. F. Moore and others who became noted 
were members. He served Providence and Sugar Creek 
in Mecklenburg County, Fayetteville, and Charlotte 
churches as pastor. He was the first president of Da- 
vidson College; procured the charter from the Legisla- 
ture in 1838, and superintended the establishment of the 
institution. On account of feeble health he resigned in 
1840 and removed to his farm at Cottage Home, Lincoln 
County. He was pastor of Unity, and afterwards also of 
Castanea Grove until 1876 when he, on account of age, 
resigned the pastorate but preached at Machpelah when 
the weather was favorable, for several years. He was 
one of the ablest preachers of his church and no one was 
more regarded as a leader or respected for his integrity 
and purity of character. He died in 1889, aged ninety- 
one years. 

The landsi adjacent to Machpelah were owned by two 
or three persons to the extent of ten thousand acres or 
more. There were few white families within two miles 
of the church. Dr. C. L. Hunter, Messrs. D. A. Sum- 
merow, David Dellinger and Lewis Dellinger were elders 
of the church. By death ahd removal from the State 
the membership was much reduced. Most of those on 
the roll united with Castanea Grove at its constitution 


in 1865. Those remaining joined the church at Iron 
Station when it was organized. About 1892 the pastor 
of neighboring Presbyterian churches began to hold ser- 
vices at Machpelah as a mission point. In 1901, by the 
labors of Rev. W. H. Wilson a church was constituted 
which now (1903) numbers over thirty members and 
seems to be in good condition. Mr. Wilson is highly re- 
garded by the community as a Christian gentleman and 
an active worker. Capt. Jos. G. Morrison is an elder in 
the church. The vicinity of the church is now (1903) 
thickly settled. In 1859 Mrs. Violet Alexander, a daugh- 
ter of General Graham, conveyed to Dr. C. L. Hunter, 
David A. Summerow, David Dellinger and James F. 
Johnston, as trustees of the church property, twenty- 
seven acres of land. 

After the constitution of the church in 1848 other 
families used the cemetery. Dr. Hunter and Mr. Sum- 
merow, with members of their families. Dr. Wm. John- 
ston, father of Gen. Eobt. D. and Gov. Joseph F. John- 
ston, of Alabama, among others, rest here. 

Captain Brevard, three sons — Ephraim, Robt. A. and 
Theodore W., one daughter — Mrs. Eloisie Hayne, and 
some other of his descendents to the third generation 
are buried there. 

With General Graham are his wife, sons — James, Al- 
fred and Robert Montrose; daughters — Polly, Isabella 
and Mrs. Mary Morrison ; his son-in-law, Dr. Morrison, 
grand- and great-grandchildren. 

The following inscription is upon his tomb : 



WHO DIED Nov. 12th, 1836; aged 77 years. 

He was a brave, intelligent and distinguished officer in the Revo- 
lutionary War. In various campaigns from' May, 1778, to Nov., 
1781. Commanded in fifteen engagements with signal wisdom, 
courage and success. 

On the 26th Sept., 1780, aften a gallant defense of the ground first 
consecrated by the Declaration of American Independence he was 
wounded near Charlotte. 

In 1814 he commanded the troops of N. C. in the expedition 
against the Creek Indians. 

His life was ai brightl and illustrious pattern of domestic, social 
and public virtues. 

Modest, amiiable, upright and pious, he lived a noble ornament to 
his country, a faithful friend to the church and a rich blessing to 
his family and died with the hope of a glorious immortality. 

General Graham having, according to the custom of 
the country attended "Tuesday of Court" (Nov. 10th), 
returned home from Lincolnton that afternoon. He was 
stricken with apoplexy the next day and died Thurs- 
day, November 12, 1836. 

Mrs. Isabella Davidson Graham died January 15, 
1 808 ; aged 47 years. 

She was the most beautiful of Major Davidson's hand- 
some daughters. Her character corresponded in loveli- 
ness and goodness to her personal appearance; she was 
much beloved by all her acquaintance, and discharged 
well the duties of a Christian wife, mother, mistress, 
neighbor and friend; impressing her personality upon 
all with whom she associated. 

"Her children arise up and call her blessed 
Her husband also, and he pradseth her." 



I. Polly, who died in 1801, at the age of thirteen 

II. John Davidson, who succeeded him in the manu- 
facture of iron at Vesuvius Furnace. 

Married (1) Betsy Connor. Children: 

1. Mary Ann, married Harvey Orr, Charlotte, N. C. 

2. Charles Connor, married Mary Mebane, Greens- 
boro, N. C. Arkansas 1854. Memphis 1866. 

3. Eliza, married Col. John Sloan, Greensboro, N. 0. 
Texas 1870. 

4. Malvina, married Col. John A. Young, Charlotte, 
N. C. 

5. Maj. Joseph Montrose, married Mary Washington, 
New Bern, N. C. Arkansas 1849. Died 1872. 

6. Dr. Wm. Henry, died unmarried in Arkansas, 1854. 

7. Martha, married P. K. Rounsaville, Lexington, N. 
C. Indiana 1853. 

8. James Franklin, died unmarried in California, 

9. Isabella, died in childhood. 

10. Dr. Alexander Hamilton, surgeon Texas troops, 
married Mary Mason, York County, S. C. Texas, 1857. 

11. Julia. 

Married (2) Jane Johnston, Lincoln County, N. C. 

12. John, died in infancy. 

13. Robert Clay, married Sally Prim. 

Died 1846. Buried at Unity. 


Whs. SdpHiA G. Wjtherspoo>'. 


III. Sophia, married Dr. Jno. Witherspoon, of South 
Carolina. Moved to Lexington, Ky.; afterwards to 
Greensboro, Ala. Children : 

1. Eliza, married Judge Henry Goldthwaite, of Mo- 
bile, Ala. 

2. John J., who died unmarried. 

3. Jos. Graham, who died unmarried. 

4. Dr. K. Sidney, who married Mrs. Mary (nee Tor- 
rance) Bratton, Mecklenburg, N. C. 

5. Thomas F., who married Kate Hatch, Alabama. 
Louisville, Ky. 

6. Wm. Alfred, who married Tarriffa Cocke, Vir- 
ginia. Greensboro, Ala. 

7. Mary S., who married Chas. Dickey, of Brown 
Bros. & Co., New York. 

8. Ann Louisa, who married Dr. Wm. Anderson, Mo- 
bile, Ala. 

Being the oldest daughter, she, at the death of her 
mother, had, when she was only seventeen years of age, 
to assume the cares of the family and the rearing of the 
younger children. She performed the duties with faith- 
fulness, consideration and affection. She was regarded 
as a typical older sister and daughter and remembered 
with great love and pleasure by those to whom she had 
given her attention and affection. 

Died 1866. Buried in Charlotte. 


IV. James Graham.^Bom 1793. He graduated at 
the University in 1814, read law with Chief Justice Ruf- 
fin and was admitted to practice in the County Courts in 
1815, and to the Superior Courts in 1816. 

He represented Rutherford County in the House of 
Commons 1823-4-8-9. He represented the Mountain 
District in the United States Congress from 1833 to 
1843 and from 1845 to '47. 

The following is an extract from his address to the 
voters in his district when he was a candidate for elec- 
tion in 1841. 

This was after President Tyler had forsaken the Whig 
party which had elected him and to which Mr. Graham 

The conduct of President Tyler was obstinate and arbitrary. He 
would not agree with Congress, and he could not agree with himself. 
He opposed but would not propose. He opposed the action of Con- 
gress, and still he haid no plan himself; he wanted time to concoct 
some scheme that would be acceptable to himself; im that situation 
Congress adjourned at the extra session, leaving the President sus- 
pended in absurd abstractions. T^e abstraction school is a clever 
class of men who seem to imagine that a special providence has 
committed the Constitution to their peculiar keeping and construc- 
tion. They are political Pharisees; they thank God they are not like 
other men, and I thank God that other men are not like them; for 
they can calmly see and look with indifference upon seventeen mil- 
lions of people in deep distress by the mal-adminlstration of the 
government and make not one single effort to relieve or comfort 
them, but sit still add survey the scene of suffering aind disappoint- 
ment while hundreds and thousands are dispirited and sick with 
hope deferred and broken promises until they are ready to exclaim: 

Despair is poison to the heart. 
It rankles in a tender part; 
'Tis formed to flourish in decay. 
And chase the hope of life away. 


The people of North. Carolina are suffering severely, and pay 
double taxes for the want of a uniform currency. We pay one tax 
to the government and another to brokers and shavers, because our 
currency is below par in New York, the place where our merchajits 
purchase their goods. I believe the tax to the broker equals that to 
the government. 

The following obituary appeared in the National In- 
telligencer ^ October 6, 1851: 


At his residence in Lincoln County, N. C, on the 25th ult., the 
Honorable James Graiiam, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. 

Mr. Graham was the second son of the late Joseph Graham, and 
the last surviving brother of the present Secretary of the Navy. 
He was educated at the University of his native State, and bred to 
the profession of the law, which he practiced successfully for serveral 
years. He was frequently a member of the Legislature of North 
Carolina, and was widely known to the country as one of her most 
faithful and devoted members in Congress for a period of twelve 
years. His social nature and courteous, frank and manly character 
attracted to him a large circle of friends among his associates in 
public life, and the visitors and residents of this metropolis; while 
his kindly sympathies and affections endeared him to those with 
whomi he wais more nearly connected. 

He never married. Died 1851. Buried at Machpelah. 

VII. Robert Montrose. — Died unmarried in 1822. 
Buried at Machpelah. 

VIII. Alfred. — Emigrated to Tennessee to join his 
brothers, Joseph and George Franklin, but returned to 
North Carolina in 1834 to become partner with his 
brother, John D., in the iron works. Died, unmarried, 
in 1834. Buried at Machpelah. 



V. Joseph moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1828, 
was the first Sheriff of Shelby County, married Sarah 
Kimbrough, of Tennessee. Children : 

1. George C, married (1) Mrs. Record, of Mississippi. 
(2) Miss Perkins, of Tennessee. (3) Miss Daniel, of 
Mississippi. Died 1899. 

2. Lydia, married W. C. Rutland, Little Rock, Ark. 
He was a member of Henderson's Scouts, Army of Ten- 
nessee, Confederate Statesi Troops. Dead. 

3. Albert K., married Miss Evalina Marshall, daugh- 
ter of Dr. James Marshall, was a member of 1st Tennes- 
see Cavalry, W. H. Jackson's Brigade of Forrest's Com- 
mand from 1861 to the Surrender, and surrendered with 
General Forrest at Gainesville, Ala. 

4. Joseph, married Mrs. Alston, of Tennessee; was 
a member of 1st Tennessee Cavalry ; afterwards a Lieu- 
tenant in Fagan's , Arkansas Cavalry, Gen. Sterling 
Price's command ; was in Confederate Army from 1861 
to 1865; was a prisoner and paroled at the surrender. 

5. Sophia, died in early womanhood. 

Died in 1837. Buried in Memphis, Tenn. 


VI. George Franklin. — Graduated at the University 
of North Carolina in 1815, and a few years afterwards 
at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 
medicine. In 1825 he married Martha A. Harris at 
Beattie's Ford, Mecklenburg County, N. C. He had 
settled prior to this at Memphis, Tennessee, and enjoyed 
a large practice in the city and in the adjacent country 
for thirty miles. 

Doctor Graham died in 1827 of yellow fever, con- 
tracted from a professional visit to a sick person on a 
steamboat en route from New Orleans to St. Louis. 
This is believed to be the first case of yellow fever re- 
ported at Memphis. He is buried at Memphis, Tenn. 
A few years afterwards Hon. James Graham went to 
Tennessee and brought Mrs. Graham and her child to 
Vesuvius Furnace, where they resided with General 
Graham until Mrs. Graham's second marriage. 

The party with a negro man as attendant made the 
trip on horse-back, each carrying the child "in turn." 

Mrs. Graham was the only child of Charles Harris 
and Martha A. Eppes, formerly widow of Charles Con- 
ner. She afterwards married Dr. StanhQpe Harris, of 
Cabarrus County, N. C. 

James Graham was the guardian of Ann Eliza. 
Children : 

Ann Eliza, who married Col. William Johnston, a 
grandson of James Johnston of Revolutionary note. He 
was a lawyer and prominent in the political history of 
the State for many years, and in Internal Improvements 
in their incipiency. He was president of the road from 
Columbia to Charlotte ; the first that was built to Char- 
lotte. The road from Columbia to Augusta was con- 
structed under his administration. Member of Seces- 
sion Convention, 1861. 


IX. Violet Wilson married Dr. Moses Winslow Alex- 
ander, a prominent physician of Mecklenburg County. 
He was a son of J. McKnitt Alexander. Children: 

1. Dovey Adelaide Wdnslow, married Rev. H. B. Cun- 

2. James Graham, died in youth. 

3. Junius Montrose, died unmarried, 1855. 

4. Isabella Louisa, married Dr. W. J. Hayes, Char- 
lotte, N. C. 

5. Hamilton LaF., 63d Regt. N. C. T., died unmar- 

6. Mary Sophia. 

7. Emily Eugenia, died in youth. 

8. Eliza Rocinda, died 1855. 

9. Julia Susan, married Maj. T. McGehee Smith, Mil- 
ton N. C, 45th Regt. N. C. T., who was killed near 
Richmond, May, 1864. 

10. Wistar Winslow, died unmarried. 

11. Capt. Sydenham B.; 42d Regt. N. C. T.; State 
Senator 1879, '83, '85, '87 and 1901. First advocate for 
road improvement in North Carolina. Member 52nd 
and 53pd Congresses ( 1891 to 1895 ) . President of State 
Grange and of North Carolina Farmers' Alliance and 
Industrial Union; a prominent advocate of advance- 
ment and improvement in agriculture. Married (1) 
Emma Nicholson, Halifax, N. C. ; ( 2 ) Louise Perry, 
Louisburg, N. C. 

12. Alice Leonora, married Dr. George W. Graham, 
Charlotte, N. C. 

Mrs. Alexander died 1868. Buried at Hopewell, 
Mecklenburg County, N. C. 

ili:^. T,'i()7.i:t Ct. Ai i:x \ xhkii. 

ill;;.. ilAKY G. MdERlSOX. 


X. Mary, married Rev. Robert H. Morrison, D.D., of 
Cabarrus County, one of the most distinguished Presby- 
terian ministers of his time and section. Children : 

1. Isabella, married Lieut. Gen. D. H. Hill. 

2. Harriet, married Jas. P. Irwin, Charlotte, N. C. 

3. Maj. Wm. W., Commissary; died unmarried, 1865. 

4. Sarah, died in childhood. 

5. Elizabeth, died in childhood. 

6. Mary Anna, married Lieut. Gen. T. J. ("Stone- 
wall" ) Jackson. 

7. Eugenia, married Brig. Gen. Rufus Barringer. 

8. Susan W., married Major A. C. Avery, Judge of 
the Superior Court and Justice of the North Carolina 
Sujpreme Court. 

9. Laura P., married Col. Jno. E. Brown, 42nd N. 
C. T. ; Legislature 1872. Charlotte, N. C. 

10. Capt. Joseph Graham, A. D. C. Stonewall Jack- 
son ; Captain 57th N. C. T. ; wounded at Drury's BluflE 
and Petersburg, 1864 ;Legislator 1884; married Jennie 
Davis, Salisbury, N. C. ; Lincoln County, N. C. 

11. Dr. Robert H., Captain, A. D. C. General Barrin- 
ger and General Hill ; married Lucy Reid, Mt. Mourne, 
N. C. Shelby, N. C. 

12. Rev. Alfred James, Selma, Ala. Married Portia 
Atkinson, Virginia. Died 1876. Buried at Machpelah. 

Mrs. Morrison died 1864. Buried at Machpelah. 


XI. William Alexander. — Born September 5, 1804. 
Graduated at the University 1824. Lawyer, member of 
the House of Commons for the "Borough" of Hills- 
borough 1833-4-5 ; for the county of Orange 1836-38-40 ; 
Speaker '38-40. United States Senator 1840-43. Gov- 
ernor 1845-49. Secretary of the Navy 1850-52; while 
Secretary suggested and organized the expedition to 
Japan under Commodore Perry, also the one under Lt. 
Herndon to explore the Amazon; two events whose re- 
sults have been among the most important of the nine- 
teenth century. Candidate of the Whig party for Vice- 
President 1852. State Senator 1854. In 1860 was sup- 
ported for the nomination for President by the North 
Carolina and Georgia delegations and other delegates. 
Member North Carolina Convention 1861. State Sena- 
tor 1862-3. Confederate States Senator 1863-5. State 
Senator 1866 ; unanimously elected from Orange County 
but not admitted. Elected United States Senator by an 
almost unanimous vote of the Legislature in 1866, but 
was denied admission. Trustee of the University for 
nearly forty years. Honorary member of the Historical 
Society of Wisconsin. Member of the Board of Trustees 
of the Peabody Fund. Selected by the State of Virginia 
as Arbitrator on disputed boundary line between Mary- 
land and Virginia. Elected delegate to the Constitu- 
tional Convention 1875, but died before the Convention 
assembled. He was strikingly handsome in his personal 
appearance, diligent, thorough and faithful in the per- 
formance of every duty incident to the many positions 
which he filled; pure and spotless in his private life, a 
learned lawyer, a ripe scholar, a statesman of great abil- 
ity and clear judgment. He is esteemed by many as the 


greatest man produced by Nortli Carolina. Died August 
11, 1875, at Saratoga, N. Y., while attending a meeting 
of Maryland and Virginia Boundary Line Arbitrators. 
Buried at Hillsborough, N. C. 

On June 8, 1836, he married Susannah Sarah, daugh- 
ter of John Washington, New Bern, N. C. Children : 

1. Dr. Jos(^ph, Captain Battery O, 10th Regt. N. C. T. 
Married Elizabeth Hill, Hillsboro, N. C. Charlotte, 
N. C. 

2. Maj. John Washington, 56th Regt. N. C. T. 
Wounded June, 1864, at Petersburg, and March, '65, at 
Hare's Hill. Lawyer, State Senator 1868-72, Constitu- 
tional Convention 1868, Trustee of the University. Mar- 
ried (1) Rebecca {nee Cameron) Anderson, Hillsboro; 
(2) Margaret Bailey, Tallahassee, Fla. Hillsborough, 
N. C. 

3. Maj. William Alexander, Captain Co. K, 19th Regt. 
(2nd Cavalry). Wounded at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. 

Major and Assistant Adjutant General of North Caro- 
lina 1863-5. Farmer. State Senator 1874 and '79; 
elected each time unanimously from his district, Lin- 
coln and Catawba counties. Author. Historian. Mar- 
ried Julia Lane, Amelia, Va. Lincoln County, N. C. 

4. Oapt. James Augustus, Co. G, 27th Regt. N. C. T. 
Wounded at Bristow Station 1863, Spottsylvania C. H. 
1864. Lawyer, State Senator, Trustee of the Univer- 
sity, Pension Examiner. Married Elizabeth Webb, 
Hillsborough, N. C. Washington, D. C. 

5. Capt. Robert Davidson, Co. D, 56th Regt. N. C. T. 
Wounded at Hare's Hill. Lawyer, Secretary of Civil 
Service Commission, Commissioner in Land Office in 
Department of Interior. Washington, D. C. 


6. Dr. George Washington. Author. Married (1) 
Sallie Shaver, Atlanta, Ga. ; (2) Alice L. Alexander, 
Charlotte, N. 0. Charlotte, N. C. 

7. Augustus Washington. Lawyer, State Senator, 
Judge of Superior Court, member of House of Repre- 
sentatives, Trustee of University, Secretary of Board of 
Arbitrators of Maryland and Virginia boundary line. 
Married Lucy A. Horner, Oxford, N. C. Oxford, N. C. 

8. Susan Washington, married Walter Clark, Lt. CoL 
TOth Eegt. (2nd Junior Reserves) N. C. T. Lawyer, 
Judge of the Superior Court, Justice and Chief Justice 
of Supreme Court, author, historian. Raleigh, N. C. 

9. Alfred Octavius, died in infancy. 

10. Eugene Berrien died when four years old, 1863. 

XII. Isabella, who died in infancy 


For the information of those who are harvesting the 
benefits of his services and for the admiration and emu- 
lation of his descendants, I have endeavored to compile 
the items of history of one who was among the most ac- 
tive characters in his State and country in winning the 
independence of America and in laying the foundation 
and shaping the policies upon which the government 
of his State has been erected. Having presented as far 
as able an account of his services, I have collected in 
Part II of this book his accounts of events during the 
Revolutionary War as he performed or witnessed them 
or heard accounts of them from participants. 

I conclude with the following extract taken from an 


obituary prepared by Rev. R. H. Morrison, D.D., and 
published in the Charlotte Whig in December, 1836 : 

His intercourse with others was marked by great dignity of 
deportment, delicacy of feeling, cheerfulness of spirit and equability 
of temper. Men of learning and high standing have often expressed 
much gratification by his company, and surprise ait the extent and 
accuracy of his knowledge. In the circle of private friendship his 
excellencies were strikingly displayed. He was far — very far — re- 
moved from all those feelings of selfishness, vanity, suspicion or 
envy which unfit men for the duties and joys of social life. His eye 
was always open to the virtues of his friends; his heart was always 
ready to reciprocate their kindness, to symipathize with their sor- 
rows and overlook their infirmities. His hand, his time, his coun- 
sel and his infiuence were all at the command of those who shared 
his confidence and deserved his affection. 

"A friend is worth all hazard w© oam run; 
Poor is the friendless master of a world; 
A world in purchase for a friend is gain." 

But there was another circle near to his heart in which he was 
still better prepared to shine, and in which true excellency displayed 
is a brighter and surer evidence of worth. Justice could not be 
done to his character without being known ini the family circle. As 
a husband, a father and a master those alone who were the objects 
of his attachment, forbearance and tenderness could duly aippreciate 
his conduct and demeanor. 

His life was a bright pattern of those virtues which are essential 
to the purity and peace of society. He possessed a lofty and deli- 
cate sense of personal honor and virtuous feeling. His presence was 
always a rebuke to the arts and abominations of evil speaking, pro- 
fanity and defamation. If he could notl speaJi well of his fellow 
men, he was wise and firm enough to say nothing. He regarded 
the reputation of others as a sacred treasure, and would never stoop 
to meddle with the private history or detract from the good name 
of those around himi. He felt that the sources of his enjoyment and 
the causes of his elevaitl'on were notl tO' be found in the calamities 
of his fellow men, and hence his lips were closed to the tales of 
slander and his bosom a stranger to the wiles of calumny. Did all 
men act on the principle which governed him in this respect a 


Mdeous train of evils which mar the purity and disturb the peace 
of society would cease to exist. 

But Gen. Graham did not helieve when he had served his country, 
his family and his friends his work on earth was finished. With 
an unwavering conviction of the truth and importance of religion, 
he professed to serve God and to seek for salvation by faith in 
Christ For a long period of time he was a member of the Presby- 
terian church, and for ten or twelve years previous to his death 
was a Ruling Elder of Unity under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. 
Adams. He cherished a most profound respect for the ordinances 
and duties of Christianity, and attended with deep Interest and uni- 
form punctuality upon the m'eans of grace. He delighted much In 
reading the Word of God and In hearkening to the instructions of 
the ministers of the Gospel, for whom he always manifested the 
greatest regard. In selecting his library he proved how high an 
estimate he placed upon Christian instruction, and In his most unre- 
served Intercourse with pious friends his deep and pervading concern 
for true and undefiled religion was apparent. No circumstances 
would deter him from manifesting the most decided contempt for 
the grovelling spirit of Infidelity and irrellgion. 

By a life of temperance and regular exercise, with the blessing of 
God, he enjoyed remarkable health and vigor of constitution. On 
the 13th of October, 1838, he made the following minute in his day 
book : "This day I am seventy-seven years of ago and in good health, 
Dei Gratia." 

As the disease which terminated his life was ajpoplexy, its para- 
lizing stroke was sudden and unexpected. He rode from Lincoln- 
ton on the 10th of November, and on the evening of the 12th closed 
his eyes upon the cares and trials of a long, useful and honorable 

"Hope looks beyond the bounds of time. 
When what we now deplore 
Shall rise In full immortal prime 
And bloom to fade no more." 



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This map was prepared by General Graham probably for the pur- 
pose of showing the territory of the County, in the discussion of its 
division or the formation of Cabarrus. The committee reported to 
the House of Comm,ons of the Legislature that he exhibited a map 
on this occasion. 

Upon it I have named the various routes of the military expedi- 
tions in ]780-'l. 

It will be noticed that King's Mountain was then supposed to be 
in North Carolina. 

Mecklenburg then embraced not only its present territory, but 
also all of Cabarrus and the greater part of Union. 

W. A. Graham. 


About 1820 Judge Archibald D. Murphey concluded to 
write the history of North Carolina. He corresponded 
with persons whom he thought could furnish material 
for this purpose. His intention seems to have been to 
write a history of the Revolutionary period and to cor- 
rect mistakes or omissions concerning North Carolina 
troops. General Graham suggested to him to write a 
full history of the State. He says in a letter to General 
Graham, July 20, 1821, "Your letter to Colonel Connor 
first suggested to me the plan of work which I will exe- 
cute. It is a work on the history, soil, climate, legisla- 
tion, civil institutions, literature, etc., etc., of the State." 
He undertook this work, published a prospectus of the 
various headings under which it would be composed, 
and what each would contain. He appealed to the Leg- 
islature for aid in his work, collected much material, but 
died in 1829, before any publication was made in bock 

Bills were introduced in the Legislature to aid him 
in his work, but failed to be enacted. In 1825 an act 
was passed to allow him to use a lottery with drawings 
to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars, in the publi- 
cation of his work, but he was never able to operate it. 

Several articles which had been furnished him were 
published in the newspapers, among them the Battle of 
Ramsour's Mill, by General Graham, and King's Moun- 
tain, by General Lenoir. The following articles were 
furnished by General Graham for the history, and the 
letters passed between them. The location of most of 


the other articles collected by Judge Murphey was not 
known after his death, and when at last ascertained it 
was found that they had been burned a short time pre- 
vious by the then lady of the house in cleaning up the 
attic, she supposing them to be merely rubbish. 

Judge Murphey graduated at the University in 1799, 
and was tutor for several years in that institution. He 
represented Orange County in the State Senate from 
1812 to 1818, when he was elected Superior Court Judge, 
which position he resigned in 1820, and was afterwards 
Reporter to the Supreme Court. He was one of the 
earliest and most earnest advocates for public schools, 
which were introduced in 1840. 

In some of the articles the General's object seems to 
have been to call attention to certain movements and 
cite historians from whom minute accounts could be 
obtained, with suggestions as to some corrections. In 
others he fully relates the occurrence. I call attention 
to the suggestion that Colonel Williams' men at the 
battle of King's Mountain, were North Carolinians, 
which I have annexed to the account of that battle. Also 
note on Eamsour's Mill and Cowan's Ford. 

At the opening of the Olivia Eaney Library, Ealeigh, 
N. C, October, 1900, a speaker regretted that North 
Carolinians in writing State history generally do so 
with complaints of other writers on the same occur- 

In military operations North Carolinians have gener- 
ally served under commanders who were citizens of 
other States. These commanders have not been care- 
ful to see that due credit was given to the "Tar Heels," 
but, where they were concerned, reported actions in a 


general way, and sometimes attributed toi other troops 
the deeds of North Carolina soldiers. It required over 
thirty years to find out the North Carolina soldiers' 
position in the Confederate Army, and then it is given 
by the "enemy." The following articles show that to 
some extent at least the North Carolina Confederate 
inherited the lot of his Revolutionary ancestor. When 
the commanding oflScers of North Carolina troops report 
more accurately the accounts of their services the his- 
torian may alter his style in writing its history. 


1. CoRRBSPONDBNCi; Bbtwben Judge; Mdrphey and 

Genkrai, Graham, iSao-'iy. 

2. Mistakes by Historians as to North Carolina 


The facts stated by General Graham are of great in- 
terest and of the very highest authority. The letters 
of Judge Murphey well illustrate his earnest and labo- 
rious, though unsuccessful efforts to rescue the history 
of our State from oblivion. His memorial is itself now 
part of our history. 

Below are given: General Graham's chronology of 
Revolutionary events; his corrections touching the 
affairs at Hanging Rock; the three expeditions of the 
militia in 1775 and 1776; Judge Murphey's letters re- 
lating to his contemplated history. 

No. 1. General Graham to Judge Mubpiiet. 

Vesuvius Furnace, No. 27, 1820. 

Deak Sir: — I will give you a kind of chronology according to my 
present views. Fromi Ramsour's in three days after the battle Gen. 
Rutherford marched against Col. Bryan in the forks of Yadkin. 
Bryan heard of his coming, and on the 30th of June, crossed the 
Yadkin, marched rapidly and joined the British at Chera-w Hill. 
Rutherford pursued until below Abbott's Creek and returned to 
Salisbury. From there, in a few days marched with the men desig- 
nated for a tour; to join Gen. Gates. When in the pursuit of Bryan 
at Salisbury he detached Col. Wm. L. Davidson with two hundred 
and fifty men down the west side of the Yadkin; at Colson's these 
troops attacked them. Col. Davidson and one other wounded. 

The British advanced simultaneously on each side of the Ca- 
tawba; Genl. Sumter invested with command of South Carolina's 



refugees and Nortih Carolina men; movements preceding battles of 
Rocky Mount and Hanging Rook, -wliicli took place the first and 
sixth of August, are well described by Lee, incidents only are omit- 
ted by him. On 16th of August, Gates' defeat; all the historians 
describe it better perhaps than could be done again. After Gates' 
defeat Sumter's on 18th of August. 

Succeeding events about Charlotte; Camp at McAlpin's Creek. 
Gen. Smnner arrives — Davie's affair at Wahab's (Walkup) well de- 
scribed by Lee — British arrive at McAlpin's Creek 24th of Sept. 
Tarleton detached after Gen. Sumter to Digger's Ferry, who has 
notice, crosses the river and escapes. 26th Sept. British advance. 
Tarleton joins two miles below Charlotte, rencounter In Charlotte 
and at the Cross Roads very imperfectly described; the British en- 
campment and conduct while in Charlotte; on 3rd of Oct., send a 
foraging party four hundred and fifty infantry, sixty cavalry, forty 
wagons on the road to Beattie's Ford, at Mclntire's farm, are at- 
tacked by Capt. Thompson, Geo. Graham, Robt. Robeson, Esq., four- 
teen in all, whose names I have. Killed a Captain and seven men, 
wounded twelve, the party returned to Charlotte with less than two 
loads of forage. 7th Oct. Ferguson's defeat; Dr. Wm. McLean and 
Capt. Samuel Caldwell, who were there, say it is not well repre- 
sented in any of the histories. (I was then im the hospital.) They 
propose giving a description, etc. The British hearing of Fergu- 
son's disaster, leave Charlotte on 10th of Oct.; incidents on their 
return march, by way of old Nation Ford ; arrive at Winsboro about 
1st of Nov. Camp at Six Mile Creek — arrival at the south of Gen. 
Greene and Morgan — Militia management until 17th Jan., '81. Tar- 
leton defeated — British advance in pursuit of Morgan by way of 
Hamsour's; 30th Jan. Morgan passes Sherill's Ford; same day 
■Greene, Davidson and Col. Washington held council at Beatie's 
Tord — next day 1st of Feb., battle at Cowan's and Beatie's Ford 
and at Torrence's, not well described. 3rd Feb., the British ad- 
vance; attack the militia in Morgan's rear at night near Trading 
Ford on the Yadkin. On 7th of Feb. Graiiam's troop of cavalry 
killed and took seven prisoners of the British on tlheir march be- 
tween Shallow Ford and Salem — 11th Gen. Andrew Pickens of 
South Carolina, invested with command of all the forces collected 
in rear of the British, marched by Guilford on to Stony Creek, 
ten or fifteen miles from Hillsboro; detached twenty of Graham's 
cavalry, some of Simmon's riflem^en, forty in the whole, who 
marched in the night, at light in the morning attacked a picquet 


at Hart's mill, one and a half miles from Hillsiboro, killed and took 
tlie wbole tfwenty-five. Lo'St none, though, closely pursued by Tar- 
leton's whole corps — brought prisoners all safe in; Monday was 
joined by Lee's legion — succeeding transactions, of the affair of 
Pyle's at Holt's, well described, but unaccountably, though Lee was 
present, he makes no mention of the afEadr at Clapp's mill five or 
six hundred aside; it was a pretty stiiff business. The British had 
a Captain and sixteen killed — we had nine. Out of my command 
two killed, — Ford (of Charlotte) and Johnson; Robert Harris, Esq., 
Samuel Martin, amd Jack Bamett, wounded; John Stinson (nigh 
Charlotte) and Joe Mitchell, prisoners; seven in the whole. 

Yours, etc., Jos. Graham. 

No. 2. Judge Muephet to' General Graham. 

Haw Riteb Orange Cotjntt, January, 1821. 

Dear General: — Col. Connor delivered to m'e in Raleigh, your 
account of the battle at Ramsour's, which I have read with much 
interest, for it wasi the first time I had asaj correct idea of that 
affair. I have the account in my possession, and will shortly give 
it) to the public. Your letter to Colonel Connor I have copied and 
now enclose the original to his care. 

Twelve months ago, I suggested to a few friends the propriety 
of making an effort to rescue from oblivion the Incidents of the 
Revolutionary War which occurred in this State. The leading 
events only are recorded. A detail of inferior events in character 
is wanted not only to gratify curiosity, but to make out a portion 
of our history, which is likely to be soon lost. It is due to the 
men engaged in them. It Is due to the character of the State, to 
have collected and embodied, all the events of the Revolutionary 
War, which occurred' in this State and ini the upper parts of South 
Carolina. I have mentioned the subject to Col. Polk, who very 
readily promised his aid; and he has contributed very liberally, 
and promised to contribute more upon his return from Tennessee. 
I had intended long since, to address you oni the subject, but a suc- 
cession of severe afiBlctions and the pressure of a variety of busi- 
ness, suspended my attention to the subject, until lately. I think 
with you, that the union of a few men will do much in a little time 
towards collecting materials for a regular and minute detail of all 
such events as are worthy of being recorded. In all the events of 
life, great things depend so much upon a complication of small ones 


that it is desirable to get a history of everything that in its bear- 
ing could any how contribute to the principal events. Anecdotes, 
likewise, conmeoted, with the thread of the narrative, are useful 
and amusing. They shoiw the character of the times, and of the 
principal actors. After, therefore, drawing up your narrative, give 
in notes, all the anecdotes that you have stored up in your memory. 
Speak of the character of particular men, and give biographical 
notices of them; point out the motives which probably influenced 
them in taking sides. Describe the mlaamer in which bodies of 
militia were from time to time hastily raised; their equipments, 
arms, &c. 

We have no regular account of the military police of the State 
at that period. Describe the gradation of military authority; who 
commissioned the officers; who called them out upon emergency; 
by what authority were the militia called out; how long were they 
bound to serve; who supplied their arms and accoutrements, &c. 
Give a regular account of the militia system at that period. 

Give an account of Gen. Rutherford. What section of the State 
did his command embrace? What was his education, his pursuits 
in life? etc. Say all you know of his expedition against the Ghero- 

I beg you to fill up in detail the out-line contained in your letter, 
and add to it as much more as you can. 

The general Tory War seem.B divisible into distinct periods, and 
distinct districts of country. Trace the origin of the Tories; their 
first assemblages; their leaders and their opponents; get the his- 
tory of the battle of King's Mountain, with the principal circum- 
stances leading to, and following it; the history of Col. Cleveland's 
operations against the Tories, and of our distinguished Whigs in 
the west; get the history of Col. Bryaai'S operations; his character, 
place of residence, and ultimate fate; and the principal anecdotes 
connected with his marauding adventures. 

Add to your account of the battle of Ramsoiir's such fact and 
anecdotes of the principal aictors on each side as you may be able 
to collect 

Collect all the information you can. of Fanning's adventures, and 
of the Tory War on the Cape Fear; also, of the retreat of Com- 
wallis (which I believe is not mentioned in your memorandum'). 

Write a detailed aiccount of Gea. Davie's t!ransactlons. I wish to 
know something of his family, his education, his entrance into the 
army, and his exploits as a soldier. 


This letter Is confined to particulars. Your memorandum is the 
outline of the general narrative. Write at length, and be not afraid 
of saying too much. 

In addition to the events of the Revolutionary War I beg you to 
write out a history of the Regulation under Gov. Tryon. We have 
nearly lost all this part of our history; say, therefore, everything 
you can leaim upon the subject 

That period of our civil history immediately following the close 
of the Revolutionary War is very interesting. Devote one chapter, 
at least, to that. 

I shall be glad to keep up a correspondence with you, and I will 
from, time to time submit toi your perusal, such narratives as I may 
collect. I feel some zeal upon the subject, for a large portion of 
our history now lives only in the recollection of a few survivors of 
the Revolution. We must soon embody It, or it will be entirely lost. 
Write to me at) Haw River post-office. My best respects to your son 
James. Yours very truly, 


Gen. Jos. Graham. 

No. 3. Geneeax Gkaham to Judge Mubphet. 

Vesuvius IfUEWAOE, July 14, 1821. 

Dear Sir: — About the time of tihe last Superior Court in Salis- 
bury, I wrote you, and at the same time forwarded several sheets 
in a separate package containing the narrative of transactions in 
the Revolutionary War, from the time of tihe battle of Ramlsour's 
(20th of Junte, 1780) until Gates' defeat, 16th of Aug., which I am 
in hopes you have received. I have contlinued my narrative from 
the battle of Hanging Rock, 6th of Aug., 1780, to the battle of Guil- 
ford, 15th March, 1781. It contains twenty sheets (omitting the 
battles well described by others), chiefly relative to the militia 
in this section of the State; perhaps it goes too much into detail, 
though on reading it to some who were then im service, they thought 
otherwise, and suggested several things omitted, they wished to be 

If I had time to make another draift I would improve it, but my 
avocations will not admit; the facts stated, may be relied on. 

Shortly after the battle of Guilford, North Carolina ceased to be 
the seat of war, except in the southwest, towards Fayetteville and 


Wilmington, where Maj. Craig commanded the British and the 
Tories ruled as high as Drowning Creek. 

After Governor Burke was captured, about the middle of Sep- 
tember, 1781, an expedition was fitted out from the west, under Gen. 
Rutherford. A sheet or two will contain all I have to communicate 
from' March until September. Prom that period until the British 
evacuated Wilmington, I can give the whole details, as it was the 
last campaign I served, in that war. My object is tO' state nothing 
but what I have a personal knowledge of. 

Before I was old enough to enter service there were three cam- 
paigns by the militia in the west, viz : 

1. Against the Cherokee Indians under command of Gen. Ruther- 
ford in the Fall of the year 1776. 

2. Against the Tories or Sohovillites usually called the snow 
campaign on account of a heavy snow which fell while tihey were 
out. This expedition was made in the m'onth of December, 1775. 
Col. Martin had two companies of regulars — one from the first regi- 
ment under Capt. Geo. Davidson, and the other under John Arm- 
strong of the second regiment. Exclusive of these, there was about 
two hundred men from, Rowan County, under Col. Rutherford, three 
hundred from Mecklenburg under Col. Polk, and one hundred from 
Tryon under Col. Neal. This body Joined Gen. Richardson of South 
Carolina, and Col. Thomson of the third South Carolina regiment, 
at Saluda River, about the 16th December, when tihe Tories broke 
up the siege of Ninety-six, and returned to Saluda River; on the 
23nd, they were surprised and four hundred taken prisoners. They 
were commanded by Paris, Cunningham and Fletcher. 

3. A large body of militia marched to Fayetteville about the time 
or just after the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, with Gen. Caswell, 
in 1776. Col. Polk served in the second, and was wounded. Gen. 
Geo. Graham in the first and third. 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your most obedient, 
A. D. Murphey, Esq., Atto., &c. J. Geaham. 

No. 4. Judge Muephey to Genebai, Graham. 

Haw River, July 20, 1821. 
Dear General:— On yesterday I received your letter of the 14th 
inst. I must beg your pardon for not before acknowledging the re- 


celpt of the package directed to me at Salisbury. A continued 
series of affliction in my family, added to a great pressure of busi- 
ness, had withdrawn my mind until lately from the subject of your 
communications. They now engage my attention almost exclu- 
sively, and will continue to do so, for eigbit or ten days. I entreat 
you to continue! your narrative, and give toi it all the detail your 
memory will enable you to give; and notwithsitanding you have 
filled twenty sheets, fill twenty m'ore. I am in correspondence with 
several gentlemen on these subjects, as well as otiher parts of the 
history of North Carolimai; but from none have I received com- 
munications soi circumstantial, connected, and interesting as from 
you. I wish you to progress through the Revolutionary War, and 
I will submit to you heads for further narrative, embracing the 
prominent pointsi of our history since 1783. 

Your letter tO' Col. Connor, first suggested to me the plan of a 
work, which I will execute if I live. It is a work on the history, 
soil, climate, legislation, civil institutions, literature, &c., of this 
State. Soon after reading your letter, I turned my attention to the 
subject, in the few hours which I could snatch from business, and 
I was surprised toi find what abundant materials could, with care 
and diligence, be collected; materials which, if well disposed, would 
furnish matter for one of the miost interesting works that has been 
published! in this country. We want such a work. We neither 
know ourselves, nor are we knlown to others. Such a work well 
executed, would add very much tO' our standing in the union, and 
make our State respectable in our own eyes. Amidst the cares 
and anxieties which surround me, I cannot cherish a hope, that I 
could do more than merely guide the labors of some man who 
would take up the work after me and prosecute it to perfection. 
I love North Carolina, and love her the more, because so much In- 
justice had been done to her. We want pride. We want indepen- 
dence. We want magnanimity. Knowing nothing of ourselves, 
we have nothing in our history to which we can turn with feelings 
of conscious pride. We know nothing of our State, and care nothing 
about it. 

It adds to one's mortification on this subject!, that the printers 
of this State are so little minded, that one will not copy frorcJ 
another any article of public interest, which is communicated. If 
papers were sent for publication to New York, they would be copied 
from the New York papers in all the papers of this State; yet if 
sent to Raleigh, Hillsboro, Salisbury, &c., they will be found in 


only that paper to whlct they are sent. Tlie editors at Fayette- 
vllle form an honorable exception. They search out and give place 
to everything they can find respecting! North Carolina — a m-am can't 
write for every paper, and no one paper has a general circulation — 
much more would be written, if all the papers would give it pub- 
licity, because more information would be thereby distributed 
through the community. We want some great stimulus to put us 
all in motion, and induce us to wave little jealousies and combine 
in one general m'arch in one great purpose. 

The events of the years 1780 and 1781 will fill a large octavo 
volume, and I will exert myself to coinplete it during the ensuing 
winter. You have entered upon the subject with more zeal than 
any other man, and I beg a continuance of your labors. Extract 
from the work, as first written, without corrections, will be pub- 
lished in tb.e (Hillsboro) Recorder. I directed this paper to be sent 
to you, and I am sorry the account of the battle at Ramsour's has 
not reached you. I will get a paper and send it to you. Have you 
received the papers containing the remarks "on the history of 
North Carolina"? This was the first published in January last. 
Have you received the account "of the first Revolutionary move- 
ments?" The printer made a mistake and said, "in the United 
States," instead of "in this State." This was in March. 

I will publish another paper shortly. * * * It would give me 
great pleasure to see you, and I hope you will come to Salisbury. 
In the mean time prevail on your brother to' lend his aid to the 
work, and draw up an account of the expeditions, in. which he took 
part, and from which you were absent. I hope Providence will 
spare your life "till something can be done for the honor and 
glory of North Carolina." Yours truly, 


Gen. Jos. Graham. 

Request your brother to give a minute' detail of Rutherford's 
campaign against the Cherokees, in 1776. The number of troops; 
the place of rendezvous; the causes of the war with the Cherokees; 
the march of Rutherford; the preparations of the Cherokees; their 
chiefs' names, and characters; their place of abode; operations of 
the army; force of the Cherokees; route of the army over the 
mountain; Cherokee towns taken and burnt; anecdotes of the cam- 
paign; the treaty; the commissioners, both on the part of the In- 
dians and the whites for making the treaty; miscellaneous par- 
ticulars; return of the troops; their being disbanded; where and 


when; how paid and how much, &c.; also, similar account of the 
campaign under Caswell in 1776-'77. Request him to go into every 
detlail. A. D. M. 

No. 5. Judge Muephby to Geneeai GtEaham. 

HiLLSBOEO, No. 27, 1822. 

Dear Sir: — I received on yesterday your kind letter of the 10th 
Oct. last. It had lain in the Post Office here for some time. I re- 
turned from Tennessee on Friday last, and on Monday came to this 
place to attend our Courts. 

I shall in a few weeks resume the work which I have ait heart — 
comipiling the History of North Carolina. I have collected a con- 
siderable mass of materials for several periods of this history, 
and in doing this have been kindly aided by a few of the officers 
and soldiers of the North Carolina, line, but by none so liberally 
as yourself. I am glad, you are disposed to aid me still more, and 
beg you to comtnence your work as soon as your convenience will 
admit. Col. Polk of Raleigh, is engaged in such a work, and to 
refresh his memory, I submitted to him before I went to Tennessee, 
and left him until my return, your manuscripts. Maj. Donoho, of 
Caiswell, wishes to read them, and I have promised him to go to 
his house and spend a week or ten days with him and get all the 
information his memory can supply. 

The work which I wish to publish, it is my ambition to prepare 
in a style worthy of its subject; it will embrace views of the 
climate, soil, geology, mineralogy, moral and political character, 
state of society, of literature, &c., of N. C. Time will be re- 
quired to prepare such a work, but if a few others felt the same 
zeal that you feel, and were as much disposed to lend their aid, the 
work would progress fast. 

It will give me great pleasure to hear from you frequently. 
Direct your letters to Haw River Post Office, Orange County. 
With great regard, 

I am', dear sir, 

Your obedient servant, 


Gen. Jos. Graham. 



The subjoined letter to the late Judge Murphey is a 
correction of various misstatements which have found 
a place in history in relation to events which occurred 
within our borders during the memorable invasions of 
Lord Comwallis in 1780-'81. 

The fact that the troops which gained so much dis- 
tinction, under the command of General Pickens, were 
from North Carolina, and mainly from Mecklenburg 
and the adjoining counties, had until very recently, like 
the Mecklenburg Declaration, escaped the attention of 
our best informed writers. For the preservation of 
this and other interesting events in our Kevolutionary 
history we are indebted entirely to the careful pen of 
Greneral Graham. 

Vesuvius Fubnaoe, 20tli Dec, 1827. 

Deae Sm: — Some time past, I forwarded you certain sketches rela- 
tive to occurrences in the Revolutionary War in tlhe Western part of 
North Carolina. I have since perused Johnson's History, of the life 
of Gen. Greene, and strictures on it by Lee, Jr., and would beg leave 
to correct som'e errors intO' which they have fallen. 

1. It is stated, not only by these Historians, but by most others, 
that after Lord Comwallis arrived ini Charlotte, he attempted 
marching, to Salisbury. Tairleton's legion, and a battalion of in- 
famitry, after they had dislodged Col. Davie's command in the vil- 
lage, pursued six or seven miles, to Sassafras fields (where I was 
wounded), and returned the same evening. After this, no part of 
the British army went two miles on the Salisbury road, until they 
retreated from Charlotte, upon hearing of the disaster at King's 

2. It is stated, by the historians generally, that about and on, 
tihe first of February, 1781, the Catawbai River was swollen and 

* Revolutionary History North Carolina 168. 


that this was the reason why Lord Cornwallis did not pursue Gen. 
Morgan more closely. The statement is erroneous. During the 
three days immediately preceding the 1st of February, my com>. 
mand of cavalry or portions of it, crossed the river at different 
fords; and it was not flusher of water than is usual at that season 
of the year, until the rain, which fell, on thei evening of the first of 
February.t This did occasion a rise in the Yadkin, wbichi inter- 
cepted the British after Greene's army had passed, on the third of 

3. Much is stated, and contradictory accounts are given, as to the 
part Gen. Pickens of South Carolina acted, in the campaign. The 
facts are these: After the retreat from Cowan's Ford, on the 1st 
of February, Gen. Pickens, with five or six South Carolina refugees, 
was in the route of our troops (North Carolina Militia) on the same 
day, by Tarleton's Cavalry at Torrence Tavern, six miles eastward 
of the river. Gen. Davidson, the commander of this force had 
fallen, and there were doubts and disputes among the field officers, 
as to who should succeed him. In this condition of affairs, while 
my cavalry were beyond the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin, hanging 
on the rear of the enemy, it was mnitually agreed by the field oflacers 
to invest Gen. Pickens withi the command of Davidson's troops,t 
amounting to six or seveni hundred men. This was about the 11th 
of February, and the South Carolina refugees might then amount 
to twently or thirty men. James Jackson, of the Georgia line, a 
Lieutenant, was appointed Brigade Major. He has since been a 
member of Congress and Governor of that State. After this organi- 
zation, the Brigade proceeded, crossing the Shallow Ford of the 
Yadkin, through Salem, to Guilford Court House. Here intelli- 
gence was received of the movements of the enemy to Hlllsboro and 
we took that direction, more condensed and cautious than before. 
Hitherto, the march had been regulated by detachments for the 
coiDlvenience of procuring subsistence. 

Arrived at a mill, on Back or Stony Creek, some twelve or fifteen 
miles from Hlllsboro, in the evening of the 17th of Feb., shortly 
after we had encamped the Brigade Major gave orders that Capt. 
Graham should furnish twenty dragoons, and Capt. Simmons, of 
Eowan, a like number of riflemen. As soon as these ofiicers re- 
ported their quotas in readiness, Genl. Pickens himself came and 

t Revolutionary History North Carolina 162. See also, Lee's Mem. and Loss- 
iDg for the error, here corrected. 
t Revolutionary History North Carolina 188, 189. 



gave these two officers orders, as follows, viz.: "YOU will pro' 
ceed down, tlie road towards Hillsboro with the greatest caution 
and circumspection. If you find any detachment of the enemy out, 
-inferior to your oTvn, attack them. If you discover a larger party 
beyond supporting distance from their main army, and you can 
keep yourself concealed, give me notice, and I will come or send an 
additional force *o assist you. But if you ascertain you are dis- 
covered by a larger party of the enemy return immediately. In 
any event, return early in the morning; for they will then hear of 
you from thie inhabitants of the country. If I move fromi this 
place you will find my trail up the west side of itlhis creek and may 
join me by ten, o'clock to-morrow." There were four or five volun- 
teers who went with the party besides those ordered; but none of 
them were present when the orders were given. Among others I 
recollect Maj. Micajah Lewis, (a continental officer who was killed 
a few days afterwards at Dickey's,) and his brother Joel. But 
though of superior rank, neither Maj. Lewis nor any other, as- 
sumed any command over the detachment, or the lofficers who had re- 
ceived the General's orders. The party set out between) sunset and 
dark. Aften proceeding several miles on the Hillsboro road, and 
when it was fully dark, met Robert FawcettI (usually called, as I 
understood, mad Bob), and another person, whose name is not re- 
membered. They were direct from Hillsboro, and gave us the first 
information of a picket at Hart's mill, supposed to be about thirty 
in number. We determined to attack them at light in the morn- 
ing. Gen. Pickens certainly knew nothing of this picket being at 
the mill when he detached us, although it is otherwise stated by 
Johnson. Fawcett at first thought we were a partly of the enemy. 
We compelled him to be our pilot. If he is yet living, I would 
beg leave to refer you to him for subsequent events. In the morn- 
ing, when we approached the picket, their sentry fired; and a 
sergeant and file of men cam'e immediately to his support. Sim^ 
mona and his riflemen dismoanting and tieing their horses, the 
sergeant and party fired in the direction of the noise, for they 
could not see us. Maj. Lewis, myself and six others crossed into 
the road leading towards Mebane's and charged down this road 
after the sergeant and party, who ran, until we came within, sight 
of the picket. Maj. Lewis then suggested to me the advantage the 
riflemen might have, by passing to the right, under cover of the 
hill, until they should be masked by some out buildings (I think 
a stable and smithshop). We instantly returned and gave Capt. 


Simmons hia instniotlomB, and the cavalry moved off to the left, 
through an old field, ahove where buildings have since been erected, 
in order to attract the attention and fire of the enemy, until the 
riflem'en should gain ith«dr destined position. The plan succeeded 
as we expected. Owing to the great distance, the cavalry sustained 
no damage from the enemy's fire; and as soon as the riflemen, at 
the distance of only fifty or sixty yards, in their concealed posi- 
tion, had discharged their pieces] at the picket, the cavalry charged, 
and the whole, consisting of twenty-seven men, were instantly killed 
or taken. 

Now, Johnson states, that this party was under the command of 
Col. Hugh M'CaOl, of South Carolina, and was of those who had 
been' with him at the Cowpens. Some two or three volunteers were 
along besides the Lewises as above mentioned. If Obi. M'Call was 
one of them, it is not remembered by me and others who were 
present, and of whom' I have made inquiry, since the appearance 
of this statement But if he was present, cert^iin I am he had no 
part, either in planning, or in the execution of the capture of the 
picket referred to. Nor did we consult respecting it with any 
other person, except! Maj. Lewis* (who was a real soldier). His 
counsels were deferred to by us, knowing, as we did, his past ser- 
vice and experience. But Capt. Simmons and myself gave the 
orders, and felt the whole responsibility. If M'Call was along, he 
was no more than a spectator. Several, yet living, can vouch for 
this. When the Brigade was organized west of the Yadkin, no offi- 
cers from the south were recognized but Gen. Pickens and Maj. 
Jackson. For we had over our proportion of field officers from 
North Carolina, and did not need them. When our party and 
prisoners arrived in camp, the brigade immediately moved nearly 
a North course ten or twelve ^milesl, and halted for forage, about 
mid-afternoon, at a farm with high fences, having left a strong 
guard in the rear. In half an hour, there was an alarm' by a man 
from the gluard, who reported "Tarletion was coming." It being 
too late to retreat, a disposition was made for battle by lining the 
fences with men, and making gaps at suitable places for cavalry 
to move as circumstances might require. By the time these ar- 
rangements were made a part of the rear guard and Col. Lee's 
legion moved in sight. Lee had come upon our trail a few miles 

*Mn J. Lewis was of Surry Ooiinty, and a near connexion of the late Governor Franklin, wlio "was a captain in this campai^^n. His grave, though neglect- 
ed, is still recognized on Dlcliey's plantation in Alamance. " 


back, and we were most agreeably disappointed in greeting him 
Instead of Tarleton. 

I am' confident that tMs was the first interriew between Lee 
and Pickens, during the campaign, and my impression always has 
been, that previous to this tlime neither Gen. Greene nor Col. Lee 
knew anything about where Pickens was, or what was his force; 
nor did Gen. Pickens know that any part of Greene's command 
bad re-crossed the Dan. 

4. As I anticipated in the introduction to the sketches I fur- 
nished you, the historians of that War have greatly failed to do 
justice to the troops of North Carolina. For example, everything 
that was done by Gen. Sumter's force at Hanging Rock, Rocky 
Mount, &c., while he commanded North Carolinians in 1780, and 
by that of Pickens, while he co<mmanded Davidson's Brigade in 
1781 as above related, is placed to the credit of South Carolina 
from the circumstances of the two Generals commanding. Judge 
Johnson even states that at the battle of Cowpens, Maj. Jo. McDowell 
and his comimand from Burke County In this State were from 
South Carolina. 

5. Col. Lee having written his Memoirs upwards of thirty years, 
after the transactions he relates, has omitted to mention many 
things, and of others he must have forgotten the circumstances; 
though upon the whole, he is more correct as far as I had a per- 
sonal knowledge, than any other historian I have read. You may 
recollect that in his memoirs he passes unnoticed the skirmish at 
Clapps Mill, although he had command of the party engaged. Col. 
Otho Williams calls it "the skirmishi on the Alamance," and says 
we had but three killed. On the day after the action, Pickens and 
Lee detached m'e with a party to the battle ground, and I got the 
inhabitants to bury eight of our mem (all militia, and two of my 
own company). I beg leave to refer you to what I have written 
before on this subject. 

6. Johnson's History is the only one I have seen, which notices 
the fact that, on the second night after the affair at Clapp's Mill, 
on Alamance, a detachment of British cavalry fell in with a party 
of Tories on their march to join the British, and that mistaking 
each other for adversaries, ai number of the Tories were killed or 
wounded, before the mistake was discovered. But he appears to 
know nothing of our party teazing the British in the afternoon: 
and at night charging and disipersing their patrol, and capturing 
its commander, and that these were the reasons why a large body 


of horse were dispatched up the Salisbury road, which met the 
Tories and occasioned the mishap he mentions. This you will find 
in the Sketches. 

7. Lee states that at Pyle's defeat* the action was commenced 
by the firing of the Tories on the Militia, In his rear. "Whereas, 
the fact was that I riding in front of the Militia dragoons, near to 
Capt. Eggleston who brought up Lee's rear, at the distance of 
forty or fifty yards, pointed out to him, the strip of red cloth on 
the hats of Pyle's men, as the mark of Tories. Eggleston ap- 
peared to doubt this, until he came nearly opposite to the end of 
their line, when riding up to the man on their left, who appeared 
as an officer, he inquired, "Who do you belong to?" The answer 
was promptly given, "To King George," upon which Eggleston 
struck him on the head with his siword. Our dragoons well knew 
the red cloth on the hats to be the badge of Tories, but being under 
the immediatfe comniand of Lee, they had waited for orders. But 
seeing the example set by this officer, without waiting for further 
commands, they rushed upon them like a torrent. Lee's m;en, nesrt 
to the rear, discovering this, reined in their horses to the right 
upon the Tory line, and in less than one minute the engagement 
was general. Col. Lee being in front, and at the other end of the 
line, say forty poles, from where the action commenced, might have 
believed the Tories first attacked us. If, however, he had inquired 
of Capt. Eggleston, he could have informed him otherwise. 

As to other events, of which I have a personal knowledge there 
are misrepresentations, but it Is not convenient for me to point 
out of all them. 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your most obedient, 

J. Gkaham. 

The Hon, A. D. Murphey. 

♦Revolutionary History North Carolina 435 and 190. 



HisTORicAi, Notice of Rbvoldtionary Events in 

North Carolina. 
Battle of Ramsour's Mill. 


In the histories of the Revolutionary War, by Mar- 
shall, Eamsay and Lee, the details given of transactions 
in this section of the country are frequently inaccurate, 
and many things which had a bearing on the general 
result are entirely omitted. The two former had not 
the means of correct information, and Lee did not join 
the Southern army with his legion until in the month 
of February, 1781, after which his narrative may gen- 
erally be relied on. 

It may be remembered that there was a marked dif- 
ference in the manner of conducting the Revolutionary 
and the late war between us and Great Britain. In the 
latter the commandant of a party sent an official report 
in writing to his superior or to the Secretary of the 
War Department, of every trivial combat with the 
enemy. In the former, of all the battles fought in the 
South there were not more than three or four official 
reports ever published. The historians had to collect 
some of their information from common fame and other 
precarious sources. The truth is, that many of the 
officers of that time were better at fighting than writ- 
ing, and could make better marks with their swords 


than with their pens. Their object did not appear so 
much to have their names puffed in the columns of a 
newspaper as to destroy their enemy or drive him from 
their country and establish its independence. 

The histories of Eamsay and Lee, which are the most 
in detail of the transactions in the South, are calculated 
to make an erroneous impression in reciting the opera- 
tions under the command of General Sumter in the 
months of July and August, 1780, and of General Pick- 
ens in the months of February and March, 1781. From 
the number of the field officers from South Carolina 
under their command, the reader would believe that in 
the ranks of the former the principal force consisted 
of the militia from South Carolina; whereas, the fact 
was that in the well-fought battles of Eocky Mount and 
Hanging Rock the North Carolinians, under the com- 
mands of Colonels Irwin and Huggins and Major Davie, 
constituted the greater part of Sumter's command, and 
the field officers referred to had not sometimes each a 
dozen men with them. In the following February, when 
Gen. Andrew Pickens was vested with the command of 
the troops, 600 or 700 in number assembled in the rear 
of Lord Cornwallis on his march to Dan Eiver; there 
were not more than forty of the South Carolina Militia 
in his ranks, and his men were chiefly from between the 
Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, from the then counties 
of Mecklenburg and Rowan, from which Iredell and 
Cabarrus have since been separated. 

It may further be remembered that the brigade of 
State troops raised by the State of South Carolina in 
the spring of 1781, when each man furnished his own 
horse and military equipments, the regiments com- 



manded by Colonelsi Polk, Hampton and Middleton were 
mostly raised in the counties aforesaid. 

It is admitted that some of both officers and soldiers 
of the Militia of South Carolina were as brave and 
enterprising as ever went to a field of battle, but those 
well-affected to the cause of independence were but 
few in number. The most of the lower districts (ex- 
cept Marion's Brigade) were endeavoring to save their 
property either by moving to North Carolina or Vir- 
ginia, or the greater number by taking protection from 
the enemy. Prom the conduct of the few before alluded 
to Eamsay's History gives character to the whole mili- 
tia of the State who were not disaffected, when it is 
well known a great majority of them saw little military 
service. The counties of Mecklenburg and Kowan not 
only furnished the greater part of the troops commanded 
by General Sumter, but they were in all cases his place 
of retirement when menaced by a superior force of the 
enemy, and from whence he mostly organized and set 
out on his several expeditions. 

The writer finding those things unfairly represented 
has undertaken in his plain way to present a more cor- 
rect account of several transactions than has hereto- 
fore been given, and to take notice of some which have 
been entirely omitted, which in his opinion are worthy 
of being preserved. 

For the truth of the facts he states he appeals to those 
who were present on the several occasions related, of 
whom it is believed more than a hundred are living.* 
Some of the details may appear minute and trivial, but 

• Written 1820-'21. 


not so to those who were present, and it is expected the 
present generation will read with some interest the 
part their fathers and relations acted in those times, 
more especially when they have a personal knowledge of 
the very spot where each transaction took place. 


The unsuccessful attempt made by Greneral Lincoln 
to take Savannah, and the subsequent capture of the 
army under his command at Charleston, inspired the 
Royalists with hope, and induced Sir Henry Clinton 
to regard the States of Georgia and South Carolina as 
re-annexed to the Crown. The South was left destitute 
of any regular military force to support the cause of 
the Revolution. There were no regular troops south of 
Pennsylvania to oppose the British or keep the Tories 
in awe, and within a few weeks after the surrender of 
Charleston detachments of British troops occupied the 
principal posts of Georgia aud South Carolina. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Broom marched up the Savannah River 
and occupied Augusta; Lieutenant-Colonel Balfour took 
possession of Ninety-six, on the Wateree, and Lord 
Cornwallis pushed forward to Camden. The object of 
this last movement was three-fold: First, to intercept 
the retreat of Colonel Buford, who had been hastening 
with a few Continental troops to the relief of General 
Lincoln at Charleston; second, to open an easy com- 
munication with the Scottish settlements on the Pee 
Dee, Drowning Creek and Cape Fear; and third, to 


keep in check the Whigs of the Waxhaw settlement on 
the Catawba andi of the southwestern counties of North 
Carolina. The effect which these movements was cal- 
culated to produce upon the public mind was increased 
by the defeat of Colonel Buford and the slaughter of his 
men. The States of South Carolina and Georgia yielded 
submission to the royal authority, and the Commander- 
in-Chief, Sir Henry Clinton, embafked with the main 
army for New York, leaving only four thousand troops 
for the Southern service. The command devolved on 
Lord Comwallis, who immediately repaired to Charles- 
ton to establish such commercial regulations as the new 
state of things required, and to arrange the civil admin- 
istration of the State, leaving Lord Rawdon in com- 
mand at Camden. North Carolina had not yet been 
invaded, and the hopes of the Revolution in the South 
seemed to rest on the efforts which that State should 

Charleston surrendered on the 12th of May, 1780. 
On the 29th of that month Tarleton defeated! Colonel 
Buford in the Waxhaw settlement, forty miles south of 
Charlotte, in North Carolina. Brigadier-General Ruth- 
erford ordered out the militia en masse, and by the 3d 
of June nearly nine hundred men assembled near Char- 
lotte. On that day intelligence was received that Tarle- 
ton was on his return to Camden, and on the next day 
the militia, after being harangued by the Rev. Dr. 
M'Whorter, president of the college at Charlotte, were 
dismissed by General Rutherford, with orders to have 
their arms in good repair and be in readiness for an- 
other call. Major Davie having recovered from the 
wounds received by him at Stono, again took the field, 


and part of his cavalry were ordered to reconnoitre be- 
tween Charlotte and Camden. 

On the 8th of June General Eutherford was informed 
of the advance of part of the troopsl under Lord Eawdon 
to Waxhaw,* thirty miles south of Charlotte, and issued 
orders for the militia to rendezvous on the 10th at 
Eeese's plantation, eighteen miles northeast of Char- 
lotte. The militia, to the number of eight hundred, 
promptly assembled, and on the 12th, having heard' that 
Lord Eawdon had retired to the Hanging Eock, Gen- 
eral Eutherford advanced ten miles to Mallard's Creek. 
On the 14th the troops under his command were organ- 
ized. The cavalry, sixty-five in number, under Major 
Davie, were equipped as dragoons, and formed into two 
troops under Captains Simmons and Martin. A bat- 
talion of one hundred light infantry was placed under 
the command of Col. William L. Davidson,f a regular 
officer, who could not join his regiment in Charleston 
after that place was invested, and now joined the mili- 
tia. Five hundred remained under the immediate com- 
mand of General Eutherford. In the evening of the 
14th he received intelligence that the Tories were em- 
bodying in arms beyond the Ca.tawba Eiver, in Tryon 
County,:}: about forty miles to the northwest of his then 
position. He issued orders to Col. Francis Locke, of 

* The day after Lord Rawdon reached Waxhaw, he with a life guard of twenty 
cavalry, visited the Catawba Indian towns, six or eight miles distant from his en- 
campment? These towns are situate above the mouth of Twelve Mile Creek, on 
the east bank of the Catawba River. The warriors, headed by their General New 
Biver had left their towns on the preceding evening to join the troops under Gen- 
eral Rutherford. Curiosity alone seemed to have induced Lord Rawdon to visit 
the towns; but his approach frightened the Indians, who fled from their houses. 
His Lordship discovered two white men and four or five Indians, armed, moving 
briskly down the bank of the river, and thinking it to be a movement to intercept 
his return, he hastened at full gallop to his encampment. 

t Afterwards Brigadier General Davidson, who fell in the action at Cowan's 
Ford, on the Catawba. 

t Since divided Into the counties of Lincoln and Rutherford. 


Kowan, and Major David Wilson, of Mecklenburg, to 
Captains Falls and Brandon, of Rowan, and also to 
other officers to make every effort to raise men to dis- 
perse the Tories, it being deemed impolitic by General 
Rutherford to weaken his own force until the object of 
Rawdon's expedition was better ascertained. 

On the 15th General Rutherford advanced two miles 
to the south of Charlotte. On the 17th he was informed 
that Lord Rawdon had retired towards Camden, and 
that the Tories were assembled in force at Ramsour's 
Mill, near the south fork of the Catawba. A man by 
the name of John Moore, whose father and family re- 
sided about six miles from Ramsour's Mill, had joined 
the British army the preceding winter, and leaving the 
detachment under Cornwall is on the march from 
Charleston to Camden, he arrived at his father's on the 
7th of June wearing a sword and an old tattered suit of 
regimentals. He announced himself as Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the regiment of North Carolina Loyalists, 
commanded by Col. John Hamilton, of Halifax County. 
He gave to the people of the neighborhood the first 
particular account which they had received of the siege 
and capture of Charleston and the advance of the Brit- 
ish troops to Camden. He appointed the 10th of June 
for an assembling of the people in the woods on Indian 
Creek, seven miles from Ramsour's Mill. Forty men 
assembled, and Moore told them it was not the wish of 
Lord Cornwallis that they should embody at that time, 
but that they, with all other royal subjects, should hold 
themselves in readiness, and in the meantime get in 
their harvest; that before the getting in of the harvest 


it would be difficult to procure provisions for the British 
army, and that as soon as the country could furnish 
subsistence to the army it would advance into North 
Carolina and give support to the Royalists. 

Before this meeting broke up an express arrived to 
inform them that Major Joseph M'Dowell, of Burke 
County, with twenty men, was within eight miles of 
them in search of some of the principal persons of their 
party. Confident of their strength, they resolved to 
attack M'Dowell; but some preparations being neces- 
sary, they could not march until the next morning, 
when, finding that he had retired, they pursued him 
to the ledge of mountains which separate the counties 
of Lincoln and Burke, and not being able to overtake 
him, Moore directed them to return home and meet him 
on the 13th at Eamsour's. On that day two hundred 
men met Moore, and they were joined on the next day 
by many others, among whom was Nicholas Welsh, a 
major in the regiment commanded by Colonel Hamilton. 
He had lived in that neighborhood, and had joined the 
British army eighteen months before. He was directly 
from the army of Lord Oomwallis, and gave informa- 
tion of Colonel Buford's defeat. He wore a rich suit 
of regimentals, and exhibited a considerable number 
of guineas by which he sought to allure some, whilst 
he endeavored to intimidate others by an account of the 
success of the British army in all the operations of the 
South, and the total inability of the Whigs to make 
further opposition. His conduct had the desired effect, 
and much more confidence was placed in him than in 
Colonel Moore. They remained' encamped until the 
20th, during which time a detachment commanded by 


Colonel Moore made an unsuccessful attempt to cap- 
ture Col. Hugh Brevard and Maj. Joseph M'Dowell, 
each of whom, with a number of Whigs, came into the 
neighborhood to harass the Tories who were assem- 

By the 20th nearly thirteen hundred men had assem- 
bled at Ramsour's, one-fourth of whom were without 
arms. General Rutherford resolved to concentrate his 
force and attack them as soon as he learned that Lord 
Rawdon had retired to Camden. With this view he 
marched on Sunday, the 18th, from his camp south of 
Charlotte, to the Tuckasege Ford on the Catawba, twelve 
miles nearer to Ramsour's.* In the evening of that day 
he dispatched an express to Colonel Locke advising him 
of his movement and of the enemy's strength and order- 
ing Locke to join him on the 19th, in the evening, 
or on the 20th, in the morning, a few miles in 
advance of the Tuckasege Ford. The express was 
negligent and did not reach Colonel Locke. The 
morning of the 19th was wet, and the arms of Gen- 
eral Rutherford's men were out of order. At midday 
the weather cleared up, and orders were given to the 
men to discharge their guns. This discharge produced 
an alarm in the neighborhood, and the people thinking 
the Tories were attempting to cross the river, many of 
them came in arms and joined Rutherford. In the 
evening he crossed the river and encamped sixteen miles 
from Ramsour's. When Rutherford crossed the river 

» The fords referred to In this narrative are : 

1. Tuckasege, lowest on the river, twenty miles from Ramsour's. 

2. Tool's, ten miles higher up, twenty-two miles from Ramsour's. 

S. Seattle's, eight miles above Tool's, eighteen miles from Ramsour's. 

4. M'Ewen's four miles above Seattle's, twenty miles from Ramsour's. 

5. Sherrill's, six miles above M'Ewens, twenty five miles from Ramsour's. 


it was believed that he would march in the night and 
attack the Tories on the next morning, but supposing 
his express had reached Colonel Locke, he waited for 
Locke's arrival, that he might on the next day march 
full force to the attack. At ten o'clock at night Col. 
James Johnston, of Tryon County, reached Ruther- 
ford's camp. He had been dispatched by Colonel Locke 
to give notice of his intention to attack the Tories at 
sunrise the next morning, and to request Rutherford's 
co-operation. Rutherford, in the confident expectation 
that his express! had reached Colonel Locke shortly after 
Colonel Johnston had left him, made no movement until 
the next morning. 

In pursuance of the orders given to Colonel Locke 
and other officers at Mallard's Creek on the 14th, they 
severally collected as many men as they could, and on 
the morning of the 18th Ma.) or Wilson, with sixty-five 
men, passed the Catawba at Tool's Ford and joined 
Major M'Dowell, with twenty-five men. They passed 
up the river at right angles with the position of the 
Tories, to join the detachment of their friends who 
were assembling at the upper fords. At M'Ewen's 
Ford, being joined by Captain Falls, with forty men 
under his command, they continued their march up the 
east side of Mountain Creek, and on Monday, the 19th, 
they joined Colonel Locke, Captain Brandon and other 
officers with two hundred and seventy men. The whole 
force united, amounting to four hundred. They en- 
camped on Mountain Creek, sixteen miles from Ram- 
sour' s. The officers met in council and they were unani- 
mous in the opinion that it would be unsafe to remain 
in that position, as the Tories could attack them after a 


march of a few hours, and from the inferiority of their 
force they had no doubt the Tories would march on them 
as soon as they learned where they were. 

It was first proposed they should recross the Catawba 
at Sherrill's Ford, six miles in their rear, and wait for 
reinforcements, believing that with their force they 
could prevent the Tories from crossing. To this it was 
objected that a retrograde movement would embolden 
the Tories, whose numbers were increasing as fast as 
probably their own numbers would increase after they 
had recrossed the river, and no additional security could, 
therefore, be obtained by such a movement. 

It was next proposed that they should march directly 
down the river and join Colonel Rutherford, who was 
then distant from them about forty-five miles. It was 
said this movement could, be made without risk, as in 
making it they would not be nearer to Eamsour's than 
they were. To this prudent proposition it was objected 
that nearly all the effective Whigs of that section of 
the country were from home, either with them or Gen- 
eral Rutherford, and such a movement would leave 
their families unprotected and their houses exposed to 
pillage ; that it would be also a dangerous movement to 
themselves, as the Tories might be in motion and they 
might encounter them in their march. It was insinu- 
ated that these propositions proceeded, if not from fear, 
at least from an unwillingness to meet the Tories; and 
therefore a third proposition was made, which was that 
notwithstanding their disparity of force, they should 
march during the night and attack the Tories in their 
camp early next morning. It was said that the Tories, 
being ignorant of their force and suddenly attacked. 


could be easily routed. The more prudent members of 
the council could not brook the insinuation of coward- 
ice, and trusting to that fortune which sometimes crowns 
even rashness with success, it was unanimously resolved 
immediately to march, and at daybreak attack the To- 
ries. Colonel Johnston being well acquainted with the 
country, was instantly dispatchai to apprise General 
Eutherford of this resolution. 

Late in the evening they commenced their march from 
Mountain Creek, and passing down the south side of 
the mountain they halted at the west end of it about 
an hour in the night, and the officers convened to deter- 
mine on the plan of attack. It was agreed that the 
companies commanded by Captains Falls, M'Dowell 
and Brandon should act on horseback and go in front. 
No other arrangements were made, and it was left to the 
officers to 'be governed by circumstances after they 
should reach the enemy. They resumed their march 
and arrived within a mile of the enemy's camp at day- 

The Tories were encamped on a hill, three hundred 
yards east of Ramsour's Mill, and half a mile north of 
the present flourishing village of Lincolnton. The ridge 
stretches nearly to the east on the south side of the 
mill-pond, and the road leading from the Tuckasege 
Ford by the mill, crosses the point of the ridge in a 
northwestern direction. The Tories occupied an excel- 
lent position on the summit of the ridge; their right on 
the road fronting to the south. The ridge has a very 
gentle slope, and was then interspersed with only a few 
trees, and the fire of the Tories had full rake in front 
for more than two hundred yards. The foot of the 


ridge was bounded by a glade, the side of which was 
covered with bushes. The road passed the western end 
of the glade at right angles, opposite the centre of the 
line, and on this road a fence extended from the glade 
to a point opposite the right of the line. The picket 
guard, twelve in number, were stationed on the road, 
two hundred and fifty yards south of the glade, and six 
hundred yards from the encam,pment. 

The companies: of Captains Falls, M'Dowell and 
Brandon being mounted, the other troops, under Colo- 
nel Locke, were arranged in the road two deep behind 
them ; and without any other organization or orders they 
were marched to battle. When the horsemen came 
within sight of the picquet they plainly perceived that 
their approach had not been anticipated. The picquet 
fired and fled towards their camp. The horsemen pur- 
sued, and turning to the right out of the road they rode 
up within thirty steps of the line and fired at the 
Tories, who, being in confusion, had not completely 
formed their line; but seeing only a few men assail- 
ing them, they quickly recovered from their panic and 
poured in a destructive fire which obliged the horse- 
men to retreat. They retreated in disorder, passing 
through the infantry who were advancing; several of 
the infantry joined them and never came into action. 
At a convenient distance the greater part of the horse- 
men rallied, and returning to the fight exerted them- 
selves with spirit during its continuance. The infantry 
hurried to keep near the horsemen in their pursuit of 
the picquet, and their movements being very irregular, 
their files were open six or eight steps, and when the 


front approached the Tories the rear was an hundred 
and sixty yards back. 

The Tories, seeing the effect of their fire, came down 
the hill a little distance and' were in fair view. The 
infantry of the Whigs kept the road to the point between 
the glade and] the corner of the fence opposite the centre 
of the Tories. Here the action was renewed. The 
front fired several times before the rear came up. The 
Tories being on their left, they deiployed to the right in 
front of the glade, and came into action without order 
or system. In some places they were crowded together 
in each other's way; in other places there were none. 
As the rear came up they occupied those places, and the 
line gradually extending, the action became general 
and obstinate on both sides. In a few minutes the 
Tories began to retire to their position on the top of 
the ridge and soon fell back a little behind the ridge 
to shelter part of their bodies from the fire of the Whigs, 
who were fairly exposed to their fire. In this situation 
their fire became so destructive that the Whigs fell back 
to the bushes near the glade, and the Tories leaving 
their safe position pursued them half way down the 
ridge. At this moment Captain Hardin led a party of 
Whigs into the field, and under cover of the fence kept 
up a galling fire on the right flank of the Tories; and 
some of the Whigs discovering that the ground on their 
right was more favorable to protect them from that of 
the Tories, obliqued in that direction towards the east 
end of the glade. This moTOment gave their line the 
proper extension. They continued to oblique until they 
turned the left flank of the Tories; and the contest 
being well maintained in the centre, the Tories began 


to retreat up the ridge. They found part of their posi- 
tion occupied by the Whigs. In that quarter the action 
became close, and the parties mixed together in two 
instances ; and, having no bayonets, they struck at each 
other with the butts of their guns. In this strange con- 
test several of the Tories were taken prisoners, and oth- 
ers of them, divesting themselves of their mark of dis- 
tinction (which was a twig of green pine top stuck in 
their hats), intermixed with the Whigs, and all being in 
their common dress, escaped unnoticed. 

When the Tories were driven back the second time, 
and the left of their line became mixed with the Whigs, a 
Dutchman (of the Tories) meeting suddenly with an 
acquaintance of the Whigs addressed him, "Hey, how 
do you do, Pilly? I has known you since you was a 
little poy, and I would not hurt one hair of your head, 
because I has never known no harm of you, only that 
you was a rebel." Billy, who was not so generous, and 
was much agitated, and his gun being empty, clubbed 
it and made a blow at the Dutchman's head, which he 
dodged. The Dutchman cried out, "Oh, stop, stop! I 
is not going to stand stUl and be killed like a damned 
fool neder," and raised the butt of his gun and made a 
blow at Billy's head, which he missed, and one of Billy's 
comrades, whose piece was loaded, clapped his muzzle 
under the Dutchman's arm and the poor fellow fell dead. 

The Tories finding the left of their position in posses- 
sion of the Whigs and their centre being closely pressed, 
retreated down the ridge towards the mill exposed to 
the fire of the centre and of Captain Hardin's company 
behind the fence. The Whigs pursued until they got 
entire possession of the ridge, when they perceived to 


their astonishment that the Tories had collected in force 
on the other side of the creek beyond the mill. They 
expected the fight would be renewed, and attempted to 
form a line; but only eighty-six men could be paraded. 
Some were scattered during the action, others were 
attending to their wounded friends, and after repeated 
efforts not more than a hundred and ten could be col- 

In this perilous situation of things it was resolved 
that Major Wilson and Capt. William Alexander, of 
Rowan, should hasten to General Rutherford and urge 
him to press forward to their assistance. Rutherford 
had marched early in the morning, and, at the distance 
of six or seven miles from Ramsour's, was met by Wil- 
son and Alexander. Major Davie's cavalry was started 
at full gallop, and Colonel Davidson's infantry were 
ordered to hasten on with all possible speed. At the 
end of two miles they were met by others from the 
battle, who informed them that the Tories had retreated. 
The march was contiued, and the troops arrived on the 
ground two hours after the battle had closed. The dead 
and most of the wounded were still lying where they 

As soon as the action began those of the Tories who 
had no arms and several who had, retreated across the 

These were joined by others when they were first 
beaten back up the ridge, and by the two hundred <hat 
were well armed, who had arrived two days before from 
Lower Creek, in Burke County, under Captains Whit- 
son and Murray. Colonel Moore and Major Welsh soon 
joined them, and those of the Tories who continued to 


fight to the last crossed the creek and joined them as 
soon as the Whigs got possession of the ridge. Believ- 
ing that they were completely beaten, they formed a 
strategem to secure their retreat. About the time that 
Wilson and Alexander were dispatched to General Euth- 
erford, they sent in a flag under a pretence of proposing 
a suspension of hostilities, to make arrangements for 
taking care of the wounded and burying the dead. To 
prevent the flag officers from perceiving their small 
number, Maj. James Rutherfordf and another officer 
were ordered to meet them a short distance in front of 
the line. The proposition being made, Major Ruther- 
ford demanded that the Tories should surrender as pris^ 
oners within ten minutes, and then the arrangements 
should be made which were requested. In the mean- 
time Moore and Welsh gave orders that such of their 
men as were on foot, or had inferior horses, should move 
off singly as fast as they could; and when the flag re- 
turned not more than fifty remained. They immedi- 
ately fled, Moore, with thirty men, reached the British 
army at Camden, when he was threatened with a trial 
by a court-martial for disobedience of orders in attempt- 
ing to embody the Royalists before the time appointed 
by the commander-in-chief. He was treated with dis- 
respect by the British officers and held in a state of 
disagreeable suspense, but it was at length deemed im- 
politic to order him before a court-martial. 

As there was no organization of either party, nor 
regular returns made after the action, the loss could 
not be ascertained with correctness. Fifty-six lay dead 
on the side of the ridge where the heat of the action pre- 

t Son of the General. He was killed at the battle of the Eutaw. 


vailed; many lay scattered on the flanks and over the 
ridge towards the mill. It is believed that seventy were 
killed, and that the loss on each side was nearly equal. 
About an hundred men on each side were wounded, and 
fifty Tories were taken prisoners. The men had no 
uniform, and it could not be told to which party many 
of the dead belonged. Most of the Whigs wore a piece 
of white paper on their hats in front, and many of the 
men on each side being excellent riflemen, this paper 
was a mark at which the Tories often fired, and several 
of the Whigs were shot in the head. The trees behind 
which both Whigs and Tories occasionally took shel- 
ter were grazed by the balls ; and one tree in particular, 
on the left of the Tories' line, at the root of which two 
brothers lay dead, was grazed by three balls on one side 
and by two on the other. 

In this battle neighbors, near relations and personal 
friends fought each other; and as the smoke would 
from time to time blow off they could recognize each 
other. In the evening and on the next day the relations 
and friends of the dead and wounded came in, and a 
scene was witnessed truly afflicting tO' the feelings of 

After the action commenced scarcely any orders were 
given by the officers. They fought like common sol- 
diers and animated their men by their example, and 
they suffered severely. Of the Whigs, Captains Falls,* 
Dobson, Smith, Bowman and Armstrong were killed; 
and Captains Houston and M'Kissick wounded. 

♦ Captain Falls lived in Rowan (Iredell) County nearly thirty miles distant. 
His wife, riding on horsebacli, accompanied by her negro cook, came to the place 
and finding him killed, took the body home on horseback, across SherriU's Ford, 
for burial.— Ed. 



Captain M'Kissick was wounded early in the action, 
being shot through the top of the shoulder ; and finding 
himself disabled, went from the battleground about 80 
poles to the west. About the the time the firing ceased 
he met ten of the Tories coming from a neighboring 
farm, where they had been until the sound of the firing 
started them. They were confident their side was vic- 
torious, and several of them knowing Captain M'Kis- 
sick, insulted him and would have used him ill, but for 
Abram Keener, Sr., one of his neighbors, who protected 
and took him prisioner. While marching on towards 
the battle ground Keener kept lamenting, "That a man 
so clever and such a good neighbor and of such good 
sense should ever be a rebel." He continued his lec- 
ture to Captain M'Kissick untU they came where the 
Whigs were formed. Keener looking around and see- 
ing so many strange faces, said, "Hey, poys, I believe 
you has got a good many prisoners here." Immediately 
a number of guns were cocked, and Captain M'Kissick, 
though much exhausted by loss of blood, had to exert 
himself to save the lives of Keener and party. 

Of the Tories, Captains Cumberland, Murry and War- 
lick were killed, and Captain Carpenter wounded. Pew 
either of the officers or men had ever been in battle 

N. B. — In. the year 1771, Governor Tryon having defeated the 
Kegulators at the baittl© of Alamance, detached General Waddell 
•with a brigade to the "western counties, and directed him to cause 
the people to assemble ati certain stations and take the oath of alle- 
giance to his Majesty George the III. A part of Waddell's com- 
mand had halted at Ramsour's, and most of the men in the ad- 
joining country had taken the oath. These mien thought that this 


oath imposed upon them an obligation that neither the chajige of 
circumstances nor conduct of Ms Majesty's government could Im!- 
pair. They adhered to the royal cause from conscientious motives. 
There were few among them who had sufficient information either 
to undterstaaid or explain the true grounds of the contest. 

General Rutherford who commanded itjhe militia of this district 
was an officer In Waddell's command, and no doubt present when 
they were compelled to take the oath- 

Nearly every leader on the Ajnerican side as Caswell, Nash, 
Ashe and others had been very active in Governor Tryon's service 
ini 1871. It is, therefore, not surprising tha/t many of the citizens 
of Tryon County did not feel disposed to act with' them in violation 
of the oath of allegiance which they had comtpelled them to take. 

Governor Tryon reports to the Secretary for the Colonies, In 
1771, that he had received intelligence that the counties of Tryon, 
Mecklenburg and a portion of Rowan were meditating hostilities; 
he had, therefore, sent General Waddell with a military force 
through that section to compel the inhabitants to take the oath of 

Catawba County was never a part of Tryon. Lord "Granville's 
line" w'as the boundary between Rowan (Burke) and Tryon Coun- 
ties. Lord Comwallis marched through this section and received 
no recruits. A guide or messenger would have enabled him to in- 
tercept Morgan, 



1. Expedition Against the Tories in the Forks 

OE THE Yadkin. 

2. Aeeair at Colson's Mill. 

3. Engagement at Rocky Mount. 


When General Eutherford reached the battle-field at 
IRamsour's Mill, on the 20th of June, 1780, he had under 
his command upwards of 1,200 men. Davie's cavalry 
and others were dispatched through the counti^ in 
search of the fugitives who had dispersed in every direc- 
tion. They found a number of them and brought them 
to camp, all of whom were permitted to return to their 
homes on bail, except a few of the most active and influ- 
ential characters, who were kept in confinement and 
sent to Salisbury jail. The men who went with him 
as volunteers, as well as those under Colonel Locke, 
considered themselves at liberty to return home after 
the battle, except those who had been designated to 
serve a tour of duty of three months, the usual term of 
service at that period; and some of them were fur- 
loughed for a short time. By this means, by the 22d, 
his numbers were reduced to less than two hundred 
men. On that day he received information by an ex- 
press that the Tories were assembled in considerable 
force in the forks of the Yadkin, in the north end of 
Rowan County adjoining Surry, about seventy-five miles 


northeast of Ramsour's, under the command of Colonel 
Bryan, who lived a few miles below the Shallow Ford, 
on the west side of that river, and had persuaded his 
neighbors and acquaintances to rise in arms; for after 
the capture of Charleston and the defeat of Buford the 
only regular troops in the South, the rebellion was cer- 
tainly crushed. The same day General Rutherford or- 
dered Major Davie's cavalry to march and take a posi- 
tion in advance of Charlotte, on the Camden road near 
Waxhaw Creek, to keep under the disaffected and watch 
the motions of the British in that quarter. He marched 
with the infantry that were with him the direct route 
towards Bryan, and' sent orders to the oflScers on each 
side of his line of march to join him with all the men 
they could raise, on his way. After crossing the Ca- 
tawba River his force began to increase, and when he 
arrived within fifteen miles of the Tories his force was 
augmented to upwards of six hundred men, and he 
prepared to attack Bryan the next day. 

Colonel Bryan anticipated his design. He had heard 
of the defeat at Ramsour's, and of General Rutherford 
coming against him with a large force. On the 30th 
of June he crossed over the Yadkin to the east side and 
continued his route down the river through the settle- 
ments which were disaffected; many of the inhabitants 
joined him on his march, and when he passed Abbott's 
Creek his force was reported to amount to sieven or 
eight hundred men. By this movement it was evident 
his intention was to form a junction with Maj. Mc- 
Arthur, whom Lord Cornwallis on his arrival at Cam- 
den had sent on with the first battalion (about four 
hundred men) of the 71st regiment to the Cheraw hill 


on the Pee Dee for the purpose of preserving in submis- 
sion the country between that river and the Santee, and 
corresponding with the Scotch settlementsi on the Cape 
Fear, which were generally attached to the British. 

General Rutherford being apprised of Bryan's inten- 
tion, took the nearer route down the west side of the 
river by Salisbury and the old Trading Ford', endeav- 
oring to get in his front before he reached Salisbury. 
He there found that Bryan, by rapid marches, had 
passed before him. From this place he detached Col. 
William L. Davidson, with a select party, down the 
west side of the river for the purpose of intercepting 
Bryan should he attempt to pass it before he reached 
McArthur, and the main body pursued him, thinking 
if he halted or delayed they would overtake him. But 
he and party were so panic stricken with the result of 
the affair at Eamsour's that they marched night and 
day down the east side of the Yadkin and Pee Dee until 
they came opposite the British force under Major Mc- 
Arthur, and passed over the river and formed a junc- 
tion with him. Rutherford, finding it impossible to 
overtake the Tories, left off the pursuit and returned. 


The party under Colonel Davidson, who went down 
the west side of the river, the second day after they left 
Salisbury, heard of a party of Tories at a farm in the 

oolson's mill. 231 

vicinity of Colson's Mill, near the junction of Eocky 
Eiver witli Pee Dee, and marched rapidly to endeavor 
to surprise them. When they arrived near the farm 
they divided the party so as to attack them in front, 
and the flank by which it was known they would attempt 
to retire, at the same time. Colonel Davidson's party 
arrived at their station first and was discovered by the 
Tories, and when he was deploying his party into line 
they commenced firing on him. His party came stead- 
ily to the position required without confusion or re- 
turning the fire. When formed they advanced briskly. 
Colonel Davidson in front rendered conspicuous by his 
uniform. The enemy's marksmen aimed at him, one 
of whom wounded him severely. However, this had 
no effect on the result of the action. The disposition 
had been so correctly made .and all moving on at full 
charge with trailed arms, and the party sent around 
the flank attacking at the same time, the enemy fled 
after having three killed and four or five wounded and 
ten taken prisoners. Being in their own neighborhood 
where they knew the country, most of them escaped. 
Their numbers somewhat exceeded that of their assail- 
ants, which was about two hundred and fifty. On the 
part of the Whigs no person was injured but Colonel 
Davidson, and one other wounded. He was confined 
by the wound for two months, which was much regret- 
ted by the militia, as the few weeks he had been vested 
with a command among them had inspired a confidence 
nothing could shake. As no other party of Tories was 
known to be collecting, and it was unsafe to go nearer 
McArthur after being reinforced by Bryan, Colonel 
Davidson and party returned home; and General Ruth- 


erford, after staying a few days near Salisbury, marched 
with those serving a tour of duty to join General Gates, 
who was advancing near the Pee Dee. 


Scarcely had the volunteers who had been out on 
those several expeditions returned, when they were 
alarmed by the enemy approaching in another quarter. 
On the 7th of July it was understood a party of British 
and Tories were marching up the west side of Catawba 
Eiver, and it was ordered that the men in the west of 
Mecklenburg should attend public worship at Steel 
Creek church with their arms, on Sunday, the 9th, 
After sermon, parting with their families, the men 
were organized and marched down the east side of the 
river. The enemy advanced the same day as far as 
Hill's Iron Works, about ten miles below said church, 
on the west side. They set the works on fire. In the 
evening when our party approached within four miles 
of the works on the hills above Bigger's Perry, they 
saw the smoke ascending and heard the enemy was 
there. At night our men were joined by other compa- 
nies from the north of Mecklenburg and a few South 
Carolina refugees under the command of General Sum- 
ter. He being the officer highest in grade, was vested 
with the command of the whole party. Next morning 
wo had information by our patrol that after the enemy 


had burned the iron works they marched towards where 
Yorkville now stands. 

General Sumter moved seven miles to the east, where 
the road from Charlotte to the old Nation Ford crosses 
Hagler's Branch, near Spratt's farm, in the Indian land. 
Others joined in the course of the day, and on the 12th 
he had upwards of five hundred men. The position being 
favorable for collecting supplies of provisions, he de- 
termined to occupy it a few days ; but doubtful of being 
visited by the enemy's cavalry, the ground being hilly 
and covered with oak timber, the general ordered the 
timber to be felled' in different directions around the 
camp, somewhat in the form of an "abattis," and the 
body of the trees split and leaned over the pole, sup- 
ported by forks on some high stump, the other end on 
the ground at an angle of thirty degrees elevation, and 
facing the avenues left through the brush or abattis for 
passage, so that it would answer the double purpose for 
the men to be under and for defence. If the enemy's 
cavalry had come, unless supported by a large body of 
infantry or artillery, they could not have forced the 

Major Davie, at his station near Waxhaw Creek, by 
his scout discovered a party of the British were advanc- 
ing up the road from Camden, and immediately sent an 
express to General Sumter, who by this time had intel- 
ligence that the party on the west side of the river had 
entered Rocky Mount. On the 17th of July he marched 
to Waxhaw and formed a junction with Davie's cav- 
alry. The place being unfavorable for support, on the 
18th he marched down Waxhaw Creek on the south side 


past Waxhaw Meeting-house,* to a Dr. Harper's planta- 
tion, who was said to be disaffected. The horses were 
turned into a green corn-field, not having provender 
for the whole — upward of seven hundred. Early on 
the 19th the party of observation near the enemy com- 
municated that they had marched from below the Hang- 
ing Eock Creek on the road towards Charlotte. The 
horses were caught in great haste, and the command 
marched briskly to gain the ford on Waxhaw Creek 
before the enemy (there being no convenient ford 
below), and halted at noon about six miles further 
on. It was expected the enemy would move on in 
the evening or night, and a disposition was made 
for their reception. Major Davie's cavalry and one 
hundred gunmen were placed opposite the ford on 
the north side of the creek, and upwards of five 
hundred south of the creek, about thirty poles west of 
the road, in a thick wood where cavalry could not act, 
and continued in this position until next morning, but 
the enemy did not move. If they had advanced they 
were to have let them pass until they encountered the 
party with Major Davie, when those 'With Greneral Sum- 
ter were to have moved from their concealed position 
and attacked them in the flank and rear. From the na- 
ture of the ground and disposition of the American force, 
the enemy must have been destroyed. Neither cavalry 
nor artillery could have been of service to them. It was 
not thought advisable to attack the enemy at his camp, 
and as Lord Rawdon, when there before had consumed 

*Waxhaw Meeting House was at this time the hospital tor the survivors of 
those who were wounded at Buford's defeat, about eighty in number, and being 
between the two armies, was neglected in nurses, medical assistance, and suita- 
ble provisions. Perhaps a more complicated scene of misery, in proportion to 
their number, was not exhibited In the whole war. 


the forage at the neighboring farms, Gteneral Sumter 
moved back on the road to Charlotte sixteen miles to 
Clem's Branch, and encamped where he could draw his 
supplies from the fertile settlement of Providence on 
his left. 

He continued in this place near a week; the number 
of his men daily diminished. While he kept moving, 
and they expected to meet the enemy, they kept with 
him; but whenever they came to attend only to the 
dull routine of camp duty, such as mounting, relieving 
and standing guard and enduring privations, they be- 
came discontented, and those in convenient distance 
went home, and others to the houses of their acquaint- 
ances, having no camp equipage or utensils but what 
each brought with him. Though the offlcersi had rolls 
of their companies, they were seldom called, and they 
could not tell who were present, only as they saw them 
in camp. 

This was the first practical lesson to our commanders 
of militia, showing that while they kept in motion and 
the men expected that something would be achieved, 
they continued with the army; but after a few days 
in camps, they became discontented, and would scatter, 
and of those who staid, the careless and slovenly man- 
ner in which the duty of guard was performed afforded 
no security to the camp. Of this experience. General 
Sumter and other officers availed themselves afterwards 
to the end of the war. 

By the 25th of July, he had not with him more than 
one hundred men, and he sent out some of them through 
the adjoining settlements, giving notice to all to repair 
to camp, that he intended to attack the enemy. By the 


28th, such numbers joined as induced him to march. It 
was known that the main party of the enemy were at 
Hanging Eock Creek, and a detachment at Kocky Mount 
on the west of the Catawba. He decided on attacking 
the latter, and crossed over the Catawba with that view. 
On the 1st day of August he arrived at that place, sit- 
uated on the top of a hill, on the west side of Catawba, 
just below the mouth of Rocky Creek (three miles be- 
low where now, 1821, stands the United States establish- 
ment) , and the base of the mount is bounded by the river 
on the east, and the creek on the north. The log build- 
ings, which were fortified with abattis, and had loop- 
holes to shoot through, stood on the summit of the mount 
and were held by Colonel Turnbull, with a party of Brit- 
ish and some Tories, supposed to be one hundred and 
fifty in the whole. The slope from the top of the hill 
was gradual, and nearly equal on all sides, and the land 
cleared. There was no swell in the ground to shelter 
them from the enemy's fire, only on the west side of a 
ledge of a blackish kind of rocks at the distance of one 
hundred and forty yards from the houses. The men 
were drawn up in a line below these rocks, and advanced 
up to them, and a party sent around on each flank. A 
brisk fire commenced on both sides, which lasted a con- 
siderable time, and great exertions were made by the 
assailants to discover some point where they might carry 
the works, but found them equally difficult at all points. 
The enemy were under cover in the fortified' buildings, 
and sustained but little damage from the Americans, 
and the rocks were not so extensive as to shelter them 
from the fire of the British. The General, finding it 
impossible to take the place without artillery to batter 


the houses, ordered a retreat. Ool. Andrew Neal (of 
York), a young man of great promise, and much re- 
gretted, and two others were killed, and six wounded. 
Among the wounded was Alexander Haynes, yet living 
in the south end of Mecklenburg, who having fired his 
rifle twice from behind the rocks and had loaded his gun 
the third time, and peeping past the side of the black 
rock for an object, his face being white became an object 
for the enemy's marksmen, one of whom shot him under 
the eye and ranging under the brain, but missed the ver- 
tebra of the neck. It was thought he was killed, but 
seeing life was in him, when they were about to retire, 
his acquaintances carried him off. He was cured, though 
he lost hisi eye. It ran out shortly after he was wounded. 
The enemy did not attempt to annoy Sumter on the re- 
treat. He moved up the river, and the next day crossed 
at Land's Ford, where he met Colonel Irwin, from Meck- 
lenburg, with a considerable reinforcement, who had 
not time to join after the order issued at Clem's Branch, 
25th of July. By slow movements, he kept up Waxhaw 
Creek until he forwarded his wounded to the hospital 
at Charlotte. Some other sanall parties continued to 
join, and he determined to attack the enemy at Hanging 
Eock. He had discovered that his men, while marching 
and fighting, and fighting and marching, would keep 
with him, but to encamp and remain stationary, he 
might calculate with certainty his force would diminish ; 
therefore, if he failed in his enterprise, the loss to the 
country would only be those who were killed and wound- 
ed. The remainder might be organized in a short time 
as formidably as before. If he succeeded, it would con- 
siderably weaken the enemy's effective force, and have 


considerable weight in the operations which he expected 
shortly would take place. Having made all the neces- 
sary arrangements circumstances would permit, the 
General ordered the troops to march on the evening of 
the 5th of August, with a view to attacking the enemy 
early on the next morning. The enemy's force was esti- 
mated at more than five hundred, and upwards of half 
were regulars. 

General Sumter marched in the night sixteen miles, 
and early on the 6th of August the sound of horses' bells, 
the smoke of settlers along the valley of Hanging Rock 
Creek, apprised them that they were near the enemy's 



1. Battle of Hanging Rock. 

2. Engagbmenx at Charlotts and the Cross Roads 

EVENTS Preceding and Foi,i,owing. 

3. MclNTYRE'S Farm. 

4. RoYAi, Governor Martin's Proclamation. 

5. Cornwallis' Retreat to Winnsboro. 


In the sheets forwarded herewith, it is omitted in its proper place 
to state that when Gen. Sumter was on thte expedition to Rocky 
Mount, Major Davie cut off a detachment of Bryants Tories near 
the British lines, &c. — for the particulars I refer you to Lee's ac- 
count, and generally hla statement of the Hanging Rock; but some 
incidents are omitted. "When the men under Sumter and Davie 
united, had m'ade their disposition to attack, their guides, though 
well acquainted with the ground, were not with the position, in 
which the enemy was encamped, and unfortunately led them on 
Bryan's Tories instead of the British. Their attack was so im- 
petuous the Tories fled on the second fire, and the ardour of Davie's 
Cavalry was such they could not be restrained, but pursued them. 
On the first alarm, the British near a quarter of a mile distant, de- 
tached a party of about one hundred men to support them; they 
arrived on the eminence directly after the Tories had left it, and 
commenced a fir© by platoons in succession, overshot their oppo- 
nents, who by taking steady aim and in a half circle around the 
eminence, in a short time caused one-third of them to fall; the 
rest retreated to the mlajin' body, and were briskly pursued by 
Sumter's men. When the British joined their comrades, the action 
became general. After a few discharges they retreated, taking their 
Artillery with them for about three hundred yards, wliten they 
rallied, though ■somewhat scattered and out of order; and the ac- 
tion was renewed — the Whigs more scattered, some intoxicated, 
others plundering in the British camp; however a respectable num- 
ber still facing the enemy and pressing them closely, they were 
compelled gradually to give ground two hundred yards further; at 


last formed a square, &c. I refer you t|o Lee's statement for the 
rest. When the firing became slack, and the enemy maintained his 
position. Gen. Sumter had his men. withdrawn a small distance 
and formed, and as many stragglers collected as he could, intending 
to renew the action. 

He rode along the line personally inquiring of each man his stock 
of ammunition; it was found they had not on an average three rounds 
per man, which was the true cause of his retreating. The great 
blunder committed in this action was in suffering Davie's Cavalry 
to charge the Tiories in their retreat at so early a period, which 
neither Davie nor Sumter could prevent; it was not doubted after 
it was over that if they had been kept in a compact body until the 
main body of the British were forced froni their cam'p, by the gal- 
lantry of the infantry, and had turned their backs for three hundred 
yards, a charge of seventy Cavalry would have made them surren- 
der, but at that period, but few of the Cavalry had returned from 
pursuit of the Tories and they were yet unformed. The whole 
number lost on each side was never ascertained. Of the Militia 
from Mecklenburg, Capt. David Reid, a man equally distinguished 
for his patriotism and piety, and eightl others were killed, and 
Lieut. D. Flanigen, Ensign McClure and Ensign Planigen, and 
twelve privates woujided. In no action were there more acts of 
individual heroism displayed, or more hair's breadth escapes. Col. 
Robt. Irwin, who commanded the North Carolina Militia, had 
his clothes perforated with four separate balls, and escaped unhurt. 
Lieut. George Graham, who com'manded Capt Reid's company after 
he was killed, (early in the action) and many of the soldiers, had 
their clothes cut in like manner. On the British retreat from their 
position after being forced from their camp, on the right of their 
line, they kept firing a three pounder. Capt. James Knox* of 
Mecklenburg gave order to his men to load their guns, and when 
that piece fired the next time, they would take it — on the dis- 
charge of the gun they started in full run, and before the artil- 
lerists could load, got within forty steps and began to fire, the 
British retreated, and Knox and party took the gun and turned 
her on their adversaries, but unfortunately none of them knew 
how to manage or load her, though in their possession several 
minutes. The enemy rallied and came on with fixed bayonets and 
retook the gun. From this time until after Gates's and Sumter's 

• Grandfather of President James K. Polk. 


defeats on tlie 16th and 18tli of August, I refer you to the details 
of Marshal, Ramsay and Lee as being more accurate than I can 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your most obed't servant, 

J. Graham. 
A. D. Murphey, Esq., Atto., &c. 


After the battle of Hanging Kock, Greneral Sumter 
retired by slow movements with his wounded, unmo- 
lested by the enemy, towards Charlotte, where the gen- 
eral hospital was now established. When he crossed 
Waxhaw Creek, the wounded were placed in charge of 
the volunteers from Mecklenburg, who constituted the 
greater part of his force, and were now returning home ; 
that county having, without them, her full quota of men 
in the field under General Rutherford, who had recently 
joined General Gates, then advancing between Pee Dee 
and Lynch's Creek, reported to have six or seven thou- 
sand men. 

General Sumter, as soon as disincumbered of his 
wounded, passed the Catawba, and availing him- 
self of the report of Gates' arrival with so large a force, 
roused his countrymen to join his standard, it being the 
first time a respectable force of South Carolina militia 
appeared in the field after the enemy came into the in- 
terior. The conduct of the British general was favor- 
able to his views, for shortly after his arrival at Cam- 
den, the greater part of the inhabitants went to him and 
took protection, and were directed to stay at home and 
pursue their business, and their persons and property 
should be protected, and moreover, when the army need- 


ed supplies, the hard cash -woulcl be paid for them, etc. 
For a few days this was done, but in a short time their 
property was taken witliout compensation, and their 
best horses searched after, to mount the cavalry and offi- 
cers of the British army. Upon complaint to the com- 
manding officer, neither pay nor other redress could be 
had. On the report of Gates approaching, they were, 
in addition to other grievances, ordered to be organized 
as militia, to be in readiness to join the British stand- 
ard when called on. This changed their condition so 
far from what they had expected and had been promised, 
that they had no further confidence in the British ; and 
if there was no alternative but that they must risk their 
lives and fight, they would choose on which side. When 
they joined Greneral Sumter, and occasionally after- 
wards passed through the country, as refugees (as they 
were called) , their relation of how they had been treated 
by the British, and the small reliance to be placed on 
British promises, had a great tendency tO' cause a more 
decided opposition. 

If the British General had, agreeably to his promise, 
paid for his supplies in specie, suffered the inhabitants 
lo remain quietly at home (so long as they demeaned 
themselves peaceably), and relieved them from the fre- 
quent calls for military duty, it is doubted whether ease 
and cupidity, at that time, would not have overcome 
patriotism — and it is somewhat difficult to conjecture 
what would have been the I'esult, especially when the 
news of this was spread abroad, had not the British 
commanders, fortunately for the country, pursued a 
different course. 


On the arrival of Gates, however, the Hero of Sara- 
toga, the Conqueror of Burgoyne^ the general impression 
on the public mind was that his name was sufficient, 
without an army, and the country had full confidence 
that the enemy would be driven to the ocean in a short 

The succeeding events are well related by the histo- 
rians referred to — Marshall, Lee, Ramsay, etc. 

When such high expectations of General Gates' suc- 
cess were entertained, it may l>e judged with what aston- 
ishment and surprise the news of his defeat was re- 
ceived. Aboiut 11 o'clock at night, 16th August (the 
same day of the battle) , he arrived in Charlotte, seventy- 
two miles from the battle-ground. He did not dismount, 
but stopped two or three minutes, while one of his aides* 
called on Col. Thos. Polk to inform him of the disaster 
they had met with, and immediately passed on to Salis- 
bury. The news spread rapidly, and by noon the next 
day between three and four hundred militia were col- 
lected. In the evening, the village was crowded with 
troops in retreat from the battle and with the assembling 
militia. The confusion was -such that the militia could 
not be organized until the afternoon of the 18th. Neither 
officers nor soldiers of Gates' army staid any time in 
Charlotte, but kept moving on the Salisbury road. Gen- 
eral Smallwood, of Maryland, whoi commanded the re- 
serve in the action, was last engaged, and being pressed 
by the enemy in pursuit, convpelled to turn towards the 

*At half past eight o'clock, Col. Senf, engineer, dismounted at Col. Polk's gate, 
as he was preparing to step in bed, and gave the Information of the defeat, and 
that Gen. Gates was at the gate and wished to speak with him. On his going out 
the General was gone. 

Note by Col. Wm. Polk, to whom these manuscripts were submitted by Judge 
Murphey. — Ed. 


Catawba. It was generally believed he was killed or 
taken, but on the third day after the battle, he arrived 
in Charlotte, to the great joy of the troops he had com- 
manded. His conduct in the action for skill and bravery 
gained him the confidence of his regulars, which in a 
great measure was transferred to the militia, whose 
officers consulted him and other regular officers as to 
what course they should pursue at the present crisis. 
They were encouraged to keep embodied and make what 
resistance they could, if the enemy advanced; that as 
soon as Congress was advised of the defeat, another 
army would be ordered to join them; that the enemy 
must have suffered much, and could not advance for 
some time. On the 20th, General Smallwood and the 
rest of the officers and privates who had been in the 
action set out for Hillsboro, all except Major Anderson, 
of the Third Maryland Eegiment, who was left behind 
with orders to stay ten or twelve days to collect what 
stragglers he could, and then follow. In that time he 
collected about sixty and went on. On the same day 
that Greneral Smallwood and the officers and men in ser- 
vice left Charlotte, the news was received of Sumter's 
defeat on the 18th. The officers commanding the Meck- 
lenburg militia, and some of the most influential citi- 
zens, convened to consult what should be done. Theirs 
being a frontier county, the Regulars and militia who 
had been in service all passing on, a numerous and vic- 
torious enemy shortly expected to invade them, and no 
expectation of assistance from Rowan County, they had 
to rely on their own strength and resources. Though 
the regular officers encouraged them toi expect assist- 
ance, yet from the manner in which they did it, they did 


not expect it. Several aged and respectable citizens in- 
sinuated that further resistance would, under such cir- 
cumstances, be temerity, and only produce more certain 
destruction to themselves and families, which by some 
other course might be averted. But this was indignantly 
repelled by a great majority, and especially those who 
had' been in action at Hanging Eock. Several of them 
stated that they then had seen the British soldiers run 
like sheep, and many of them bite the dust; that they 
were by no means invincible; that under suitable com- 
manders and proper arrangements, they would at any 
time risk a conflict with them, man to man; that their 
cause was just, and they confided that Providence would 
ultimately give them success, notwithstanding the pres- 
ent unfavorable appearances. As to endeavoring to 
obtain terms of the enemy, that was out of the question ; 
that their sister State, South Carolina, had tried the 
experiment, and found that no faith was to be placed in 
British promises, justice, generosity, or honor. Several 
of them declared that while there was any part of the 
North American continent to which the British author- 
ity did not extend, they would endeavor to occupy that. 
This was one of the times which emphatically "tried 
men's souls," rather than when, with the enemy at a 
distance, sitting in deliberative bodies and passing ab- 
stract resolves, to which it is generally applied. 

The result of the meeting was, that it was recom- 
mended to the commanding oflQcer, Colonel Irwin, to 
camp somewhere to the south of Charlotte, retain half 
the men liable to military duty, and the other half to 
attend to their farms, but hold themselves in readiness 
to join, if the enemy should advance; and that Major 


Davie's cavalry ( the only corps in service yet unbroken ) 
patrol the country next to Camden. Colonel Irwin 
selected a position seven or eight miles southeast of 
Charlotte, between the two roads that lead to Camden 
from that place, and encamped behind McAlpin's Creek. 
In a few days he was joined by Colonel Locke with a 
force from Rowan. As General Rutherford had been 
taken prisoner at Gates' defeat, the colonels had no 
superior officer, and being equal in rank, a collision took 
place as to who should have the chief command. At 
that time there was no law or regulation existing to 
settle disputes of this kind, and unhappily the "esprit 
de corps" began to be manifested by those they com- 
manded. In about a week, the dispute was fortunately 
settled. The Governor of North Carolina, shortly after 
General Gates arrived in Hillsboro, on learning that 
General Rutherford was a prisoner, forwarded a com- 
mission of Brigadier-General to Col. Wm. L. Davidson, 
who had just recovered of a wound he received in the 
skirmish at Colson's early in July, and by the same mes- 
senger a commission to Major Davie as colonel of 

These appointments accorded with public opinion, 
and settled the difficulty referred to. The General ar- 
rived in camp the next day after he received his com- 
mission, and assumed the command, to the great satis- 
faction of all parties. He used every exertion to in- 
crease his numbers and improve them in military discip- 
line, and Colonel Davie kept increasing his corps of 
cavalry as fast as the limited means of the country would 
admit. Several of the more ingenious blacksmiths were 


employed in making swords; scabbards and hangings 
for them were made by country shoemakers. Both were 
but coarsely manufactured, but found to answer the 

About the middle of September, General Sumner, of 
the North Carolina Line, arrived (the State having no 
Regulars in the field after the fall of Charleston). He 
now took command of the militia, having with him 
about eight hundred infantry from the counties of 
Guilford, Granville, Orange, etc., and several troops of 
cavalry which were placed under the command of Col- 
onel Davie. 

The generous efforts which North Carolina had made , 
against the common enemy in other States, had much 
impaired her powers of resistance, when the enemy in- 
vaded her own territory, and she found herself deserted 
and abandoned tO' his depredations — save by her own 
gallant and loyal sons in all the country west of Hills- 

1. Her two Continental Regiments, or battalions, 
which, when full, comprised fifteen hundred men each, 
after having served on the Hudson and in New Jersey 
and Pennsylvania, under the Commander-in-Chief, for 
three successive campaigns, were, in December, 1779, 
dispatched by General .Washington for the defence of 
South Carolina, and captured in the fall of Charleston, 
12th May, 1780. ( See his letters to Major-General Lin- 
coln, 6 Washington's writings, by Sparks, 415; and to 
LaFayette, Ibid, 487.) 

2. In the same disaster, 1,000 of her militia were sur- 
rendered to the enemy as prisoners of war. (1 Mar- 
shall's Life of Washington, .SS3.) 


3. At the defeat of General Gates oii the 16th of Au- 
gust, she had a full division of militia in the field under 
Major-General Caswell, and lost, in prisoners, five hun- 
dred men, including Brigadier-General Rutherford, and 
other effective and popular officers, with many trans- 
ports and other supplies of war. 

These were recent efforts, and attended with fearful 
losses. To go further back, her continental brigades, 
under Generals MJoore and Howe, had co-operated in the 
first defence of Charleston in 1776. At the second in- 
vasion of South Carolina in 1778-9, she sent to that State 
a full division of militia under General Ashe, besides a 
brigade of five-months militia under General Ruther- 
ford, and one of her regiments in the continental line, 
in which last, on this expedition, the writer served. The 
statute book and legislative journals of that period show 
repeated appeals to her for aid by South Carolina, when 
threatened or invaded by the enemy, and that these ap- 
peals were never made in vain. 

After the defeats of Gates and Sumter, Lord Oom- 
wallis' attention was occupied with the disposition of 
the prisoners and wounded, in arranging the civil gov- 
ernment in South Carolina, in making a suitable dispo- 
sition of garrisons in the several forts (which dimin- 
ished his movable forces), and in making his arrange- 
ments for further operations. He set out for Camden 
with the British army, and by slow marches arrived at 
Hanging Rock on the 18th of September. On the 20th, 
camped at Waxhaw Creek, giving time for the disaffec- 
ted to join him; they had hitherto been kept under by 
Colonel Davie's cavalry, who were at this time patrol- 
ling the country, and gave prompt intelligence of every 


movement of the British army. Davie retired before 
them until near General Davidson's quarters at McAl- 
pin's Creek, and obtained a detachment of infantry, with 
which he set out at noon on the 19th, marched in the 
night, and early next morning attacked a Tory detach- 
ment at Wahab's plantation, a short distance from the 
British camp. The particulars of this affair are well 
described by Lee (who, I understand, got the account of 
that and other affairs from General Davie himself). 

On the 24th September, Cornwallis marched from 
Waxhaw, and on the 25th encamped between McAlpin's 
and Sugar Creeks, ten miles south of Charlotte. He 
immediately detached Colonel Tarleton to strike Gen- 
eral Sumter, who lay about eight miles on his left, near 
Bigger's Ferry (now Mason's), who had collected about 
sixty South Carolina militia after his defeat on the 18th 
of August. Being in a friendly neighborhood, he had 
information lof Tarleton's approach, and instantly 
crossed to the west side of the river, and passed the 
South Branch up into the forks. Tarleton came to the 
east bank an hour after Sumter left it. 

When the patrols gave information of the approach of 
the British army, on the 25th, Generals Sumner and 
Davidslon broke up their camp on McAlpin's Creek and 
marched directly towards Salisbury, leaving Charlotte 
four miles on their left. General Sumner kept on until 
he crossed the Yadkin at Trading Ford. General Da- 
vidson halted behind Mallard's Creek, where the Salis- 
bury road crosses eight miles northeast of Charlotte. 
Colonel Davie and his cavalry occupied the village. 
General Davidson ordered Joseph Graham (who had 
acted as adjutant to the Mecklenburg militia since the 


fall of Charleston, and had been for some time before in 
the regular army under General Lincoln) to Charlotte, 
to take command of the militia assembling there in con- 
sequence of the alarm of the enemy advancing. He 
(Graham) was requested by Colonel Davie, as his men 
were best acquainted with the country and by-roads, to 
go down to the enemy's lines and relieve a party who 
had been out two days. He relieved Colonel Davie's 
party in the afternoon, and in the evening took four 
men, stragglers, at a farm adjacent to the encampment, 
whoi had gone out in search of milk, and sent them on 
to Colonel Davie. 

Before sunrise on the 26th, Graham's party discovered 
the front of the enemy advancing; and two of his men 
who had been sent down their left flank, reported 
that the whole army was in motion — that they had 
seen their artillery, baggage, etc., coming on. They 
were immediately sent to give Colonel Davie notice, and 
Graham's troop receded slowly before them. After go- 
ing a short distance the party were covered from the 
view of the British by a swell in the ground. They halted 
and fired on their front as they approached, which the 
enemy returned briskly, and began to deploy. Gra- 
ham's party moved on, expecting the British cavalry to 
pursue, but could see none (it turned out that they were 
gone with Tarleton after General Sumter). 

Within two miles of Charlotte, where the road from 
the ferry comes in, Tarleton joined them. In five min- 
utes after he arrived, being indisposed by his night's 
march. Major Hanger took command of the cavalry, 
and, coming in front, compelled Graham to keep at a 
more respectful distance. He was pursued by the front 


z ^ 

:j a. 


troop in a brisk canter for a mile ; after that they went 
at a common travel, until they came in sight of the vil- 
lage, when they halted that the rear might close up, 
and some of their officers endeavored to reconnoiter. 

Colonel Davie had nearly completed his disposition, 
and during the night and morning had the hospital and 
military stores removed. Charlotte stands on an emi- 
nence of small elevation above the adjacent ground, two 
wide streets crossing each other at right angles; the 
court-house was in the centre, a frame building raised on 
eight brick pillars ten feet from the ground, which was 
the most elevated in the place. Between the pillars was 
erected a wall of rock three and a half feet high, and the 
open basement answered as a market-house for the town. 
Suitable gaps were made in the lots and other enclosures 
on the east side of the village for the troops to retire 
with facility, when compelled. The main body was 
drawn up in three lines across the street leading to 
Salisbury, about fifty yards apart — thei front line twenty 
steps from the court-house. Owing to the swell in the 
gTound and the stone wall aforesaid, the whole was 
nearly masked from the view of the advancing foe, until 
he came near. One troop was drawn up on each side of 
the court-house in the cross street, at the distance of 
eighty yards from it. That on the left was masked by a 
brick house, that lom the right by a log house. Major 
Dickson, of Lincoln (since General Dickson), with a 
party of twenty men, was placed behind McComb's 
house, about twenty-nine poles in advance of the court- 
house on the left of the street. Graham's company (just 
arrived before the enemy), with Capt. John Brandon's 
troop from Eowan, were placed as a reserve in one line 


at right angles with the street where the jail now stands. 
In about thirty minutes after the enemy made his ap- 
pearance; he had condensed his forces from the loose 
order of march, by sections, and increased the front of 
his columns, his cavalry arranged in sub-division, his 
infantry in platoons (except the Legion, which followed 
the cavalry). There appeared an interval of about one 
hundred yards between the columns; the cavalry ad- 
vanced at a slow pace, until iired on by Major Dicksion's 
party; they then came on at a brisk trot, until within 
fifty yards of the court-honse, when our first line moved 
up to the stone wall and fire<l, then wheeled outwards 
and passed down the flanks of the second line, which was 
advancing; the enemy, supposing that we were retreat- 
ing, rushed up toi the court-honse and received a full 
fire on each side from the companies placed on the cross 
streets. Upon which they immediately wheeled and 
retreated down the street to their infantry, halted and 
fronted. Their infantry passed out through the lots on 
each flank and advanced. Our second line, when it 
reached the court-house, fired at the column of cavalry 
in retreat, but at rather too great a distance for much 
execution. Their cavalry now began to move forward 
again, but the Legion infantry were near one hundred 
yards in advance on each flaak. When they came in 
view, in rear of lots, they opened a cross fire on each 
flank of Davie's men, which for a short time was hand- 
somely returned from behind the buildings; but their 
numbers and firing increasing as they deployed, and the 
cavalry advancing along the street in a menacing atti- 
tude. Colonel Davie ordered a retreat. As soon as the 
troops whoi had been -engaged passed the reserve, they 


had to sustain the whole fire of the Legion, which kept 
advancing parallel with the street about eighty yards 
from it. The reserve held their position until they fired 
two rounds, and moved off in order through the woods 
on the left of the road. The British cavalry kept in 
thirty poles until Graham's party passed the first Muddy 
Branch, about three-quarters of a mile from the court- 
house, and one hundred yards from the road, where they 
wheeled and fronted ; the Muddy Branch being between 
them and the enemy, one hundred yards beyond, and 
gave them one fire. They halted, waiting for their in- 
fantry, which in a short time came running down their 
tiank, and began to fire. Graham ordered his men to 
disperse, as the woods were thick and they all knew the 
country. At the distance of two' or three miles, the most 
of them collected where the road crosses Kennedy's 
Creek (where Frew's farm now is) ; and as the woods 
were here thick and deemed suitable to rally in, the 
men were drawn up, fronting the ford, and two men sent 
over to see whether the horse or foot were marching in 
front, it being decided that if the former, the troop 
should fire from their saddles. The men sent over had 
not gone one hundred' yards from their party before they 
discovered the front of the cavalry at a small distance, 
and came back and gave information. The party sat on 
horseback waiting the approach, when the first thing 
that presented itself to their view in the edge of the bot- 
tom beyond the creek, at the distance of ninety steps, 
was the front of a full platoon of infantry on each side 
of the road, on whom they instantly fired and retreated. 
The enemy fired nearly at the same time, and their balls 
passing directly through the woods where our line was 


formed, and skinning saplings and making bark and 
twigs fly, produced more of a panic on the militia than 
any disaster which occuiTed on that day. All the firing 
in Charlotte and beyond had generally passed over their 
heads, but here it a,ppeared to be horizontal. The par- 
ties commanded by Brandon and Graham passed on in 
disorder by Sugar Creek Church, until they ascended the 
hill near the Cross-Eoads, where they formed and 
fronted. The enemy's infantry, which came before, and 
at a distance of two hundred and fifty yards halted and 
took to trees and fences, and commenced an irregular 
fire, for near a half hour, at long shot. Many of our 
men dismounted and fired in the same manner, but ow- 
ing to the distance and the shelter of each, it is believed 
no damage was done on either side. Colonel Davie, 
with his main force, heard the firing distinctly, and 
knowing the enemy were coming on, sent an officer to 
apprise General Davidson, who drew up his men near 
the ford on Mallard's Creek, where the woods (being 
coppice) and deep ravines would protect him from the 
cavalry. Colonel Davie himself formed a mile and a 
half in his front, at a place called Sassafras Fields ; from 
thence to the cross-roads, near three miles, was an open 
ridge with large timber (at that time scarcely any un- 
dergrowth being upon it), which was quite favorable 
for the action of cavalry. During the time the enemy 
had halted and kept up a desultory fire, he was making 
his arrangements near a small creek in his rear, by plac- 
ing his best horses in front and sending about one hun- 
dred cavalry through the woods to his right, in order 
that they might come into and up the cross-road, so as 
to surround the party in his front. Their conduct indi- 


oated some such movement would be attempted, and the 
reserve and others whoi joined them moved on. When 
they passed the cross-roads, that part of the enemy which 
debouched, were discovered coming up the road on their 
right, within thirty poles distance, and Major Hanger, 
with the remainder, the same distance in their rear, the 
whole about three hundred and fifty in number. When 
the two parties joined at the cross-roads, they came on at 
a brisk trot, and from that to a canter — as fast as they 
could preserve order, until they discovered the party 
before them was by their pursuit pressed out of order. 
They then charged at full speed. .When the pursuit 
became close, near one-half took to the woods on each 
side of the road. The front troop of the enemy (com- 
manded by Captain Stewart) pursued them, but the 
main body, commanded by Major Hanger, kept the road 
until they came in view of the place where Colonel Davie 
had formed at Sassafras Fields. Being much out of order 
by the pursuit, they collected their scattered troopers 
and returned to their Legion infantry and one other 
battalion, about eight hundred men in all, which ac- 
conipanied the cavalry as far as the cross-roads, and re- 
mained there drawn up in position until their return. 
The main body had halted in Charlotte, whither the 
whole repaired about sunset. 

On this day we lost Lieut. Ceo. Locke (son of Gen. 
Matt. Locke), who was literally cut to pieces in a most 
barbarous manner. The barrel of his rifle, with which 
he endeavored to shelter himself from their sabres, was 
cut in many places. He and two privates were killed, 
and Colonel Lindsay of Georgia, who served as a volun- 
teer without any command, and Captain Graham and 


ten others were wounded. Graham received nine 
wounds, three with ball and six with sabre, and was left 
on the ground as dead. The loss of the enemy could not 
be ascertained, but was believed to exceed ours. After- 
wards two of their dead were found near to where Locke 
was killed and Graham wounded, one of whom was 
known to have been shot by Robert Ramsay of Rowan, 
at the time they charged. But they must have sustained 
the greatest damage in Charlotte. The enemy seemed to 
understand this Parthian kind of warfare, and manoeu- 
I'ered with great skill — the cavalry and infantry sup- 
porting each other alternately as the nature of the 
ground or opposition seemed to require. They taught 
us a lesson of the kind which in several instances was 
practised against them before the end of the war. Dur- 
ing the whole day, they committed nothing to hazard, 
except when the cavalry first charged up to the court- 
house, and received a heavy fire in front and both flanks 
at the same time, which compelled them to retreat be- 
fore their infantry were thrown forward on their flanks. 
Had we omitted fighting on this day, kept our men 
and horses fresh (except a few to reconnoiter and give 
intelligence of the enemy's movements), and been in 
readiness to strike the foraging parties, which his new 
position would soon have compelled him to send out, 
and thus endeavored to take him by detail, it would have 
been better policy than with three or four hundred 
mounted militiamen, of whom not one-fourth were equip- 
ped as cavalry, attacking a regular army completely or- 
ganized of ten times their number, in an open field, 
when every person was sure he would be beaten. The 
small damage sustained in proportion to the risk ap- 


peared providential. Several of the Britisli officers 
stated afterwards, if Colonel Tarleton had commanded 
their van, instead of Major Hanger, it would have been 
worse for us. General Davidson retired in the night to 
Phifer's plantation, twenty miles from Charlotte, and 
Colonel Davie behind Eocky River, sixteen miles from 
Charlotte, and four miles in front of Davidson. 

The British army consisted of three brigades, besides 
the Legion infantry and cavalry and some Tories. The 
brigade on the right, commanded by Colonel Webster, 
encamped on the southeast of the court-house, forty 
poles from it, at right angles to the street leading to 
Polk's farm; which street passed through his center. 
The brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Lord 
Rawdon encamped across the street leading towards 
Salisbury, thirty poles from the court-house. His left 
came near Webster's right, and his line at right 
angles to him. The brigade commanded by Brigadier 
General O'Hara, parallel to Webster, the same distance 
from the court-house on the opposite side, fronting to- 
wards the Catawba River. The cavalry. Legion infan- 
try, Tories, etc., encamped across the street by which 
they came into the village. Their artillery, consisting 
of four pieces, was drawn up on the eminence around 
the court-house, so that their encampment was about 
eighty poles square, the court-house and artillery being 
nearly in the center. A chain of sentinels extended 
around the encampment at a small distance from it. 
Major McArthur was sent with a battalion to Blair's 
MUls, ten or twelve miles southeast of Charlotte, for the 
purpose of keeping up a correspondence with the Tories 
towards! and beyond the Pee Dee, and collecting supplies 



for the army. A guard of fifty men were stationed at 
Polk's Mill (now Wilson's), in two miles of Cliarlotte, 
which was kept grinding night and day for the army. 
On the 28th of September, Major Dickson set out from 
Colonel Davie with sixty men, made a circuit around 
Charlotte, and in the evening charged on this post. The 
garrison was vigilant, threw itself into a log house on 
the hill above the mill, and had loop-holes in the daub- 
ing and chinks to fire through. Major Dickson was re- 
pulsed, with the loss of one man killed and several horses 
wounded. Before the enemy got into the house, two 
were wounded, but after that they were secure, and the 
assailants, much exposed, withdrew. 

3. McINTYRE'S FARM, OCTOBER 3, 1780.* 

After the British army had continued in Charlotte 
about a week, having consumed most of the forage and 
subsistence to be obtained in the vicinity, on the 3d of 
October, Lord Cornwallis ordered out a foraging party 
consisting of four hundred and fifty infantry, sixty cav- 
alry, and about forty wagons, under the command of 
Major Doyle, which went up the road leading to Beat- 
tie's Ford on the Catawba Ri?er, intending to draw the 
supplies from the fertile settlements on Long Creek 
waters, eight or ten miles northwest of Charlotte. Capt. 
James Thompson and thirteen other men of the neigh- 
borhood, all being well acquainted with the whole re- 
gion, excellent woodsmen and expert riflemen, had come 
together the day before. Anticipating the necessity the 
British would be under to forage, they had gone early in 

* See also Gen. George Graham. Chapter II, Part I. 

mcintyee's farm. 269 

the morning to Mitchell's Mill (now Means'), three 
miles from Charlotte, at which place the corn was pulled 
(at most other places it was standing in the fields). 
They lay concealed at this place about an hooir, when 
they heard the wagons and Doyle's party on their march 
up the great road on their right. Finding the enemy 
had passed on, they started through the woods parallel 
with the great road, and nearly half a mile from it, keep- 
ing an even pace with the detachment on the road. 
When Doyle's party arrived at Mclntyre's farm, seven 
miles from Charlotte, after halting a short time, he left 
about one hundred men and ten wagons, with one of his 
captains, believed to be sufficient for the transportation 
of what could be procured at that place. The main 
body continued their march three or four miles to the 
farms further np. Captain Thompson and his party 
finding some were halted at Mclntyre's, moved directly 
towards the thicket, down the spring branch two hun- 
dred yards from the house. A point of a rocky ridge cov- 
ered with bushes passed obliquely from the road to- 
wards the spring and within fifty steps of the house, 
which sheltered them from the view or fire of the enemy 
until within that distance of him. Under this cover 
they deployed into a line ten or twelve feet apart, and 
advanced silently to their intended position. The Brit- 
ish were much out of order, some at the barn throwing 
down oats for the wagons, others racing down the chick- 
ens, ducks and pigs; a squad robbing the bee-house, 
others pillaging the dwelling-house. A sentinel placed 
in the edge of the coppice, within a few steps of where 
they advanced, appeared to be alarmed, though he had 
not seen them. Ca,ptain Thompson shot him. This be- 


ing the signal for the attack, each man, as he could get a 
view, took steady and deliberate aim before he fired at 
the distance of sixty or seventy steps. In two instances, 
when two aimed at the same man, when the first fired the 
man fell, and the second had to change and search for 
another object. The enemy immediately began to form 
and fire briskly. None of the party had time to load 
and fire a second shot except Captain Thompson and 
Bradley, who had fired first. The last shot of Captain 
Thompson was aimed at the captain of the party at the 
barn, one hundred and fifty yards distant. He died of 
the wound thus received two days afterwards, at the 
house of Samuel McCombs, in Charlotte. The party 
retreated through the thicket down the spring branch, 
which ran nearly parallel to the great road, and about 
thirty poles from it, for half a mile, where it enters what 
is called Carr's Creek, a branch of Long Creek. The 
enemy continued to fire briskly in proportion to their 
numbers, and ceased about the time Thompson's party 
arrived at this point. Here they halted and heard the 
noise of the main body under Major Doyle, who had 
just arrived at the place where they intended to load 
their wagons; when they heard the firing at Mclntyre's 
and became alarmed; and were now hurrying back to 
support their friends. Thompson's party loaded their 
riflles, ascended the creek bottom, deployed as before 
under cover of a high bank parallel with the road and 
about forty yards from it. They had not been long at 
this station before the enemy's advance and some wag- 
ons came on. They severally fired, after deliberate aim, 
and then retreated down the creek. When the front of 
the enemy's columns arrived near the ford of the creek, 

mcintyee's farm. 261 

they formed and commenced a tremendous fire through 
the low ground, which continued until Thompson's party 
retreated half a mile. At the same time the cavalry 
<iivided, and one-half passed down each side of the creek. 
At the same time six or seven hounds came in full cry 
on the track of Thompson's party, and in about three- 
quarters of a mile came up mth them, the British ca- 
valry at the same time on their flanks on the high 
ground. One of the dogs was shot, and the others 
ceased to pursue or make any further noise. The face 
of the country being hilly and thickly covered with un- 
derbrush, Thompson's party escaped unhurt. The ca- 
valry kept on their flanks until they arrived at the plan- 
tation of Robert Carr, Sr., where they appeared much 
enraged, and carried the old gentleman a prisoner to 
Charlotte, although he was seventy years of age. 

Major Doyle's party moved on from the ford of the 
creek and formed a junction with those at Mclntire's 
farm, took up their dead (eight) and wounded (twelve), 
put them in their wagons and retreated to Charlotte in 
great haste, not carrying more forage than could have 
been carried in two wagons. On their arrival they re- 
ported that they had found a "rebel in every bush after 
passing seven miles, in that direction." 

It is believed that in the whole war the enemy did 
not sustain so great a loss, nor was he so completely 
disappointed in his objects by so few men. That out of 
thirty shot fired, twenty should do execution, is new 
in the history of war; and several of the party think, 
that every shot would have told, if they had each aimed 
at a different object, but two or more aiming at the 
same man occasioned the waste of those that failed. 


The names of this gallant band were 

Capt. James Thompson, lived where Mr. Latta now 
does (since dead). 

Frank Bradley, killed by four of Bryan's Tories eleven 
days after this. 

James Henry, dead. 

Thos. Dickson and John Dickson, moved to Tennessee, 
both living. 

John Long, dead. 

Robt. Robinson, Esq., living in Mecklenburg. 

George Houston and Hugh Houston, moved to Ken- 
tucky, both living. 

Thos. McClure, moved to Kentucky, living. 

Gen. George Graham, Clerk of Mecklenburg Superior 
Court, living. 

Edward Shipley and George Shipley, dead. 

John Robinson, living on Crowder's Creek. 

When the British were on their retreat from Char- 
lotte, near Old Nation Ford, four of Bryan's men agreed 
to desert and go home by travelling in the night and 
lying in the thickets during the day; their names were 

John McCombs, Richard McCombs, Griffin, and 

Ridge. They had taken up in a thicket a mile 

from Bradley's on the morning of the 14th of October. 
About midday Bradley took his gun and went out to 
hunt some missing cattle, came on two of them, and be- 
gan to question them, and finally took them prisoners. 
The other two, who had been lying about twenty steps 
off, and whom he had not seen, came behind him and 
seized him; a violent scuffle ensued, until one of them 
got his own gun and shot him dead. Bradley was a very 


stout man, and without weapons would have been a 
match for all four of them ; a man of cool and deliberate 
courage, much respected by all who knew him, and his 
death much regretted. A few weeks after his murderers 
went home, Richard McCombs and Griffin were killed, 
the others were taken and sent to Salisbury jail. On 
trial, John McCombs turned State's evidence, and from 
him this account was obtained ; Eidge was hanged. 


The printed proclamation I obtained from an old Ger- 
man about five years past, near Vesuvius Furnace, say 
1816 or 1817, and forwarded it by the hands of Dr. J. 
McK. Alexander to our Senator, N. Macon, Esq., who 
had written to me for such papers. I have heard it was 
reprinted in the newspapers thereafter, but never saw 
the reprint. 

With the British army came to Charlotte Josiah Mar- 
tin, the last Eoyal Governor of North Carolina. He 
had abdicated the State in the summer of 1775, and now 
brought with him a traveling printing press, which he 
set up in the village, and this being the first entrance of 
the British army into the State, he issued his proclama- 
tion and had a great number of copies printed, dated at 
"Headquarters, Charlotte, 3d day of October, 1780." 

NOETH Carolina. 

By His Excellency Josiah Martin, His Majesty's Captain General, 
and Governor in Chief of the said. Province, &c., &c., <fc., &c. 


Whereas the King, ever anxious for the welfare and happiness 
of all hia people, and sensible to the representations which have 


beea constantly made to Mm of the steady and unshaken loyalty 
and of the inviolable fidelity and attachment of his faithful sub- 
jects in this ProTince to his person and government; and confiding 
entirely in their repeated assurances to His Majesty of their own 
utmost exertions ini cooperation with Ms armies whenever they 
should be directed to their support. And, Whereas His Majesty 
moved by these considerations, and by every the most tender and 
paternal feeling of concern, and regard for the sufferings and 
misery of his faithful people, under the intolerable yoke of 
arbitrary power, which his majesty, with indignation, sees Imposed 
by the tyranny of the rebel Congress upon his freebom subjects, 
hath been pleased to send an army to their aid and relief. I have 
therefore thought it proper, by this Proclamation, tO' inform Ma 
majesty's loyal aad faithful subjects of 'this Province, of this great 
proof and instance of his majesty's gracious attention to- them, and 
at the samie time to advertise them that the royal army under the 
command of Lieut. Gen. Earl Cornwallis, is thus far advanced to 
their support, leaving it to themselves to compute its power and 
superiority from the great, signal, and com'plete victory which it 
obtained, when in force very inferior to its present strength, over 
the rebel army on the 16th of August And whereas, while his 
majesty on the one hand, holds forth grace and mercy to- his de- 
luded subjects, who shall immediately, aind with good faith, return 
to their duty, to which they have been invited in vain by every 
reason and argument, and by every consideration of interest, of 
freedom and happiness; he Is determined on the other, to employ 
in the most vigorous and effectual manner the force of Ms arms, 
and the united strength of his faithful people, to restore and main- 
tain to them that genuine liberty, peace and prosperity, which they 
formterly enjoyed in such full securitfe^ under the mild government 
and protection of Great Britain, and to compel the disobedient to 
submission to the laws, and the participation of those blessings of 
a free constitution, which through ignorance, infatuation, delu- 
sion, blindness and fraud, they have been hitherto led to resist not- 
withstanding his majesty's most gracious and merciful endeavors 
to reclaim them. Having thus signified to the King's loyal and 
faithful subjects, the arrival and progress of his Majesty's army 
to their aid and support, which they are to evince the sincerity of 
their profession of loyalty and attachment; they are to consider 
themselves in this hour most seriously and solemnly called upon 
by every duty of the subject to the sovereign, and by every tie 


and! consideration of family, liberty and property, of present and 
future welfare and interest, with, heart and hand to join and unite 
their strength with that of hisi majesty's force, in order to deliver 
themselves from that intolerable yoke of slavery and arbitrary 
power, which the tyranny of the Rebel Congress, lost to every 
sense of truth and virtue is evidently aiming to rivet upon them, 
by calling in the aid of the two Roman Catholic powers of France 
and Spain whose policy and incessant labor it has been for ages to 
subvert the civil and religious liberties of mankind, and to restore 
themselves to that state of perfect freedom, which Is acknowl- 
edged throughout tihe world to be found only in the envied rights 
and conditions of British subjects: And whereas I have entire con- 
fidence, that it is the wish. Inclination and ardent desire of his 
majesty's faithful and loyal subjects In this province to employ 
their strength on tihis great occasion, for the redemption of every 
thing that can be dear to mten, in the way that is likely, most 
effectually amd certainly to accomplish, the great objects of peace 
and happiness which they have in view: I do hereby exhort and 
invite all tlhe young and able bodied men to testify the reality of 
their loyalty and spirit, by enlisting in the Provincial Corps, which 
are forthwith to be raised and put under my command, as his 
majesty's Governor of the Province, hereby Informing and assuring 
them, that they are, and will be required to serve only during the 
Rebellion, and within the Provinces of Nortlh and South Carolina 
and Virginia, under ofiBcers of their own' recommendation; that 
each' man will receive the bounty of three Guineas at the time of 
enlisting, aind all the pay, clothing, appointments, allowances and 
encouragementa of soldiers of his majesty's army, and will be 
entitled at the end of the rebellion, when they are to be discharged, 
to free grants of land. And I have such full assurance that his 
majesty's loyal and faithful subjects of this Province, will so 
clearly see the propriety and necessity of forming their strength 
upon this plan, which, experience hath proved can alone render it 
effectual to itlhe suppression of the tyranny which has for years 
past deprived them of every blessing, right and enjoym'ent of life, 
that I am confident their honest zest will lead them to contend 
and Vie with each other in filling the respective batalllons in which 
they shall chose to enlist, from a just sense on merit & applause 
that will be due to such as are soonest completed. 
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the said Province, at 


Head-Quarters, in Charlotte Town, this third day of Oct'oher, one 
thousand seven hundred and eighty, and in the twentieth year of 
his Majesty's reign. Jo. Mabtin. 

By his Excellency's command, 

Rigdon Brice, P. Secy. 

God save the King. 

Four or five Tories were instantly sent off with pro- 
clamations among their friends on the west of the Ca- 
tawba, the same number beyond the Pee Dee and other 
places. Subsequent events, which soon followed, pre- 
vented them from producing the effect intended. 


Before Cornwallis set out from Camden, he detached 
that noted partisan. Colonel Ferguson, with one hun- 
dred and fifty regulars and the same number of Tories, 
three hundred in all, with a large stock of spare arms 
and ammunition, over Broad River, seventy or eighty 
miles to the west. His manifest object was to arouse, 
arm and equip his numerous friends in that quarter, 
who it was known would join him as soon as an organ- 
ized force of their own party came near them. Ajiother 
abject was to disperse or destroy several parties of the 
Whigs who occasionally molested foraging parties at 
the posts of Ninety-Six and Augusta. Ferguson was 
indefatigable in carrying out the views of his General. 
Great numbers flocked to his standard, whom, as fast 
as they came in, he armed and organized into com- 

An unsuccessful attempt made by Colonel Clark to 
take Augusta, induced Ferguson to move further to the 
west than was intended, in order to intercept their re- 
turn. But in this he was disappointed. After various 
movements in different directions, his numbers still in- 


creasing, he arrived at Gilbertstown (near where Euth- 
erfordton now stands), on the 4th of October, his whole 
force amounting to thirteen hundred men, well armed 
with rifles and muskets, and plentifully supplied with 
ammunition. It was usual for riflemen to carry a large 
knife in a scabbard, appended to the front strap of the 
shot-bag, across the breast. Colonel Ferguson (who 
originally was' an officer in a rifle corps) invented the 
following plan. He had about two inches of the butt 
end of the handle of the knife made small enough to go 
in the muzzle of the rifle, toi be used as a bayonet, which 
was done in battle. On the next day, the 5th of October, 
he received intelligence from some of the Tories coming 
to join him, of a large force marching against him under 
the command of Colonels Campbell, Cleveland, Shelby, 
Williams, the McDowells, etc. Colonel Ferguson, sen- 
sible of the approaching danger from the numbers and 
kind of forces in pursuit of him, immediately decided on 
endeavoring to reach Charlotte, or, if that should not be 
practicable, to get within supporting distance of that 
place. He ordered a march, delaying himself a few 
minutes to write to Comwallis, apprising him of his sit- 
uation and the course he was pursuing, and soliciting 
immediate assistance. He sent it by two Tories, with 
orders to proceed without delay to Charlotte. The noted 
Abraham Collins, of counterfeiting memory, was one, 
the name of the other was Quinn. 

For an account of the next movements and the battle 
of King's Mountain, I refer to the various histories, 
though I am informed by several who were in the action 
that the accounts of it are not accurate. I have been 
promised a correct account by persons who were there,, 


but I have not yet obtained it. It is well known that 
the party who attacked, vested the chief command in 
Colonel Campbell, who fixed the plan of attack and gave 
all orders until the battle commenced; further a Major 
Chronicle, a young man of great promise, who com- 
manded about eighty of the few good Whigs in Lincoln 
County, was killed while bravely leading his men up the 
hill. Of him no mention is made in history. Others of 
his command fell. He was buried on the spot, and some 
four or five years ago a large assemblage of citizens col- 
lected, had an appropriate oration delivered by Dr. Mac- 
Lean, and a stone erected at the place, with a suitable 
inscription commemorative of his death and of the bat- 
tle. I being in the hospital during these transactions, 
have no personal knowledge of them, except as derived 
from others. 

Lord Cornwallis had due notice of, and was doubtless 
much gratified with the prospect of Ferguson's progress 
and success in recruiting. With Major McArthur on his 
right and Ferguson on his left ui such force, he expected 
to be able in a short time to move on and concentrate at 
Salisbury or some point near the center of the State. 
But owing to the spirit of this part of the country, and 
the vigilance of Oeneral Davidson and Colonel Davie, he 
could not learn the force or the disposition of the troops 
collecting in his front. He did not receive Ferguson's 
express from Gilbertstown until the morning of the 7th. 
The messengers, who had to pass through the Whig set- 
tlements on Crowder's Creek, narrowly escaped being 
taken. They had to lie by in the day and travel in the 
night, and by this means were detained. On the day 
he received the express, Cornwallis ordered Tarleton's 


cavalry to go with the bearers, who were to serve as 
guides, to Ferguson's aid. The ford at which they had 
crossed was Armour's, near the mouth of the South Fork 
of the Catawba; it was deep and somewhat difficult to 
find, which being represented to Colonel Tarleton, he 
sent for Matthew Knox, an old man nearly seventy resid- 
ing hard by, to show them the way over. They arrived 
at the ford a little before sunset; the water had risen 
considerably since the express had passed. The old man 
knew this, but said nothing about it, only giving them 
directions how the ford ran. The advance, about twenty 
in number, went in, but before they had gone twenty 
steps, they were swimming; after much difficulty they 
got out, on the same shore ; some nearly drowned. They 
were much enraged with Mr. Knox, threatening to "cut 
the old rebel to pieces," but the commander protected 
him. They repaired to a neighboring farm and encamped 
until morning, by which time the river had fallen so 
as to be passable, and they were about to go over, 
when they met two men who had been in the battle of 
King's Mountain, and gave Tarleton information of the 
destruction of Ferguson's army, and he hastened back to 


Whatever his Lordship^s plans might have been hith- 
erto, they were now deranged, and instead of occupying 
more of the country, he decided on abandoning a part of 
what he already had in order to secure the rest. The 
many posts that he had garrisoned necessarily dim in- 


ished his field force, and this, with the loss of Ferguson's 
command, induced him to adopt this course. Calcula- 
ting on the probability that the men who had destroyed 
Ferguson might either form a junction with those in 
front, and attack him, or strike at his post of Ninety- 
Six, which was beyond protecting distance in his present 
advanced position, and, further, knowing that he had 
consumed all the subsistence for man and beast in the 
village and that it was unsafe to forage on account of 
such bands as the fourteen men who handled Doyle's 
party so roughly at Mclntyre's farm, and that several 
of his sentinels had been shot on their posts near the 
lines, and those who did it escaping with impunity, 
this knowledge caused him to abandon this hostile dis- 
trict. In one hour after Tarleton's return, having ex- 
amined the men who escaped from the battle of King's 
Mountain, he gave orders to march the same evening. 
The day before he marched from Charlotte, a sentinel 
was shot down, buried on the same spot, and a board 
placed at the head of the grave, on which was stuck a 
half-sheet of paper with this inscription in large letters : 
"This is murder; we will retaliate." The inscription 
was signed by The Light Infantry. 

The British army left Charlotte about sunset on the 
9th of October, and took the road leading to the Old 
Nation Ford on the Catawba. They had with them as 
a guide William McCafferty (an Irishman), who had 
done business as a merchant in Charlotte for some years. 
When the British army came, he stayed to endeavor to 
save his property. McCafferty led them by the road to 
the right about two miles below Charlotte, which goes to 
Park's Mill (now Bamett's) . When they got near that 


place, he suggested that they were on the wrong road, 
and that he must ride a little out of the way to the left to 
find the right one. When he got a short distance from 
them, he wheeled about, as he well knew the country, and 
left them. The scene of confusion and disorder which 
succeeded among them is not easily described. They 
were two miles to the right of the road that they intended 
to go ; the night was dark, and being near Cedar Creek, 
they were intercepted by high hills and deep ravines. 
They attempted at different places to file to their left 
along by-ways, in order to reach the main road; but 
finally most of them got into the woods, were separated 
into parties, and kept hallooing to find which way their 
comrades had gone. By midnight they were three or 
four miles apart, and appeared to be panic struck, lest 
the Americans should come upon them in that situation. 
They did not concentrate until noon the next day, about 
seven miles from i Charlotte. Owing to the difficult 
passes they took, the darkness of the night, and the 
scare upon them, they left behind them forty wagons 
and considerable booty, which was found dispersed, for 
the most part, near Park's Mill. When McCafferty left 
them, he rode nearly all night, and arriving at Colonel 
Davie's encampment early next morning, communicated 
the information of their retreat. Davie immediately 
marched on through Charlotte, and sent a reconnoitering 
party forward, which came in view of the British about 
the time they came together and began to move. Spies 
kept in view of them for three or four miles, continually 
reporting to Colonel Davie that their rear guard was 
composed of nearly half their cavalry, and marching in 
flose order. Finding that no advantage could be taken 


of them in that manner, Davie turned to the left, where 
the road enters the Indian Lands (which at that time 
were woods and unsettled), passed up their left flank at 
a distance of three-fourths of a mile from the road (his 
spies viewing them at every favorable position), and 
marched for four miles, but the enemy's march was so 
condensed and in such perfect order, that it was impossi- 
ble to attack them without encountering at the same time 
their whole army. In the afternoon he returned to the 
settlements of Sugar Creek; and the British proceeded 
on their way by slow marches. It was rainy weather, 
and the roads bad, and they did not have sufficient 
teams for the transportation of their baggage, after 
the loss of the forty wagons during their, panic, as above 
stated. In ten or twelve days they arrived at Winns- 
boro, not more than seventy miles distant. There their 
headquarters were continued for some time, it being a 
convenient place for supporting their posts of Camden 
and Ninety-Six, if either should be attacked. 


gin --^■'^i^i'l-sf' So iPi 

. <3 O i I 3 ^^ 5^-1 ^i o^^_ ^' 

Sl!!'^ §|. „... >^1 

king's mountain. 273 



The writer of these sketches being in the hospital at 
the time of the battle of King's Mountain, did not parti- 
cipate in that action, and in his memoranda for Judge 
Murphey, in 1820-1-2, he furnished only the brief notices 
of some of its incidents. But being intimately ac- 
quainted with many intelligent actors in the engage- 
ment, he afterwards made himself familiar with all the 
details of the expedition; visited the battle-ground in 
company with some of the actors, made a difigram, illus- 
trative of the battle from personal survey, and prepared 
an account of it, which, after his death, was published 
in the Southern Literary Messenger. The diagram is 
copied, with an acknowledgment of the authorship, in 
Eamsey's History of Tennessee, and the account is be- 
lieved to have given much the most full and satisfactory 
narrative of the affair that had' appeared at the period 
of its publication. It is copied by Dr. Foote as a chap- 
ter in his sketches of North Carolina; and our design 
being to present in a connected series, according to 
chronology, the writer's contributions to the Revolution- 
ary history of the State, we here insert it with the dia- 
gram, and then resume the Murphey memoranda. — Ed. 

After the defeat of General Gates and the army under 
his command, on the 16th of August, 1780, and the defeat 
of General Sumter two days afterwards, near Rocky 


Mount, by Colonel Tarleton, tlie South was almost en- 
tirely abandoned to the enemy. Most of the troops, both 
officers and men, who had escaped from Gates' defeat, 
passed through Charlotte, N. C, where most of the mili- 
tia of Mecklenburg County were assembled, in conse- 
quence of the alarm. The regular troopis chiefly passed 
on to Hillsboro, where Greneral Gates finally established 
his headquarters. William L. Davidson, who had served 
as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regulars in the Northern 
Army, was appointed Brigadier-General of the militia 
in the Salisbury district, in the place of General Ruth- 
erford, who had been taken prisoner at Gates' defeat. 
He formed a brigade and encamped on McAlpin's Creek, 
about eight miles below Charlotte, and in the course of 
two or three weeks was reinforced by General Sumner 
(a Continental officer), but having no Regulars to com- 
mand, he took command of the militia from the counties 
of Guilford, Caswell, Orange, etc. 

After Gates' defeat, the attention of Lord Cornwallis 
was chiefly occupied with burying the dead, taking care 
of the wounded, and forwarding, under suitable guards, 
the great number of prisoners he had taken to the city of 
Charleston, and regulating the civil government he was 
■establishing in South Carolina, and examining the state 
of the posts occupied by his troops on the Congaree, 
Ninety- Six and Augusta. By the 1st of September, he 
had his arrangements made, and detached Colonel Fer- 
gerson over the Wateree with only one hundred and ten 
regulars, under the command of Captain Depeyster, and 
about the same number of Tories, but with an ample 
supply of arms and other military stores. His move- 

king's mountain. 275 

ments were at first rapid, endeavoring to intercept the 
retreat of a party of mountain men, who were harassing 
the upper settlements of Tories in South Carolina. 
Failing in this, he afterwards moved slowly, and fre- 
quently halted to collect all the Tories he could persuade 
to join him. He passed Broad Eiver, and before the 
last of September encamped at a place called Gilberts- 
town, within a short distance of where the thriving vil- 
lage of Rutherfordton now stands. 

His forces had increased to upwards of one thousand 
men. On his march to this place, he had furnished 
arms to such of his new recruits as were without them. 
The greater number of them had rifles, but a part of 
them had to fix a large knife they usually carried, made 
small enough at the butt-end for two inches or more of 
the handle to slip into the muzzle of the rifle, so that it 
might occasionally be used as a bayonet. 

Although Colonel Ferguson failed to overtake the 
detachment of mountain men alluded to, he took two of 
them prisoners, whoi had become separated from their 
comrades. In a day or two he paroled them, and en- 
joined them to inform the officers on the western waters 
that ^f they did not desist from their opposition to the 
British arms, and take protection under his standard, 
that he would march his army over the mountains, hang 
their leaders, and lay the country waste with fire and 

Col. Charles McDowell, of Burke County, on the ap- 
proach of Ferguson with so large a force, had gone over 
the mountains to obtain assistance, and was in consulta- 
tion with Col. John Sevier and Col. Isaac Shelby as to 
what plan should be pursued, when the two paroled men 


spoken of arrived and delivered their message from 
Colonel Ferguson. 

It was decided that each of them should use his best 
efforts to raise all the men that could be enlisted; and 
that their forces, when collected, should meet on the Wa- 
tauga, on the 2.5th of September. It was also agreed 
that Colonel Shelby should give intelligence of their 
movements to Col. William Campbell, of the adjoining 
county of Washington, in Virginia, with the hope that 
he would raise what force he could and co-operate with 

They met at Watauga the day appointed, and passed 
the mountain on the 30th of September, where they were 
joined by Col. Benjamin Cleveland and Maj, Joseph 
Winston, from Wilkes and Surry counties. 

On examining their forces, they were found to num- 
ber as follows : 

From Washington county, Va., under Col. Wil. Campbell 400 

From Sullivan county, N. C. . under Col. Isaac Shelby _ . 240 

From Washington, N, C, under Col. John Sevier. 240 

From Burke and Rutherford counties, N. C, under Col. Charles 

McDowell ^ J60 

From Wilkes and Surry counties, N. C, under Col. Benj. Cleve- 
land and Maj. James Winston __ 350 

Total.- 1,390 

Colonel Ferguson having accurate intelligence of the 
force collecting against him, early on the 4th of October, 
ordered his men to march, and remained half an hour 
after they had started, writing a dispatch to Lord Corn- 
wallis, no doubt informing him of his situation, and 
soliciting aid. The letter was committed to the care of 
the noted Abraham Collins (since of counterfeit mem- 
ory), and another person by the name of Quinn, with 

king's mountain. 277 

injunctions to deliver it as soon as possible. They set 
out and attempted to pass the direct road to Charlotte, 
but having to passi through some Whig settlements, they 
were suspected and pursued, and being compelled to 
secrete themselves by day and travel by night, they did 
not reach Charlotte untd the morning of the 7th of Octo- 
ber (the day of the battle). Colonel Ferguson en- 
camped the first night at the noted place called the Cow- 
pens, about twenty miles from Gilbertstown. On the 
5th of October, he crossed Broad River, at what is now 
called Deer's Fierry, sixteen miles. On the 6th, he 
marched up the Eidge Road, between the waters of the 
King's and Buffalo creeks, until he came to the fork 
turning to the right across King's Creek, and through a 
gap of the mountain towards Yorkville, about fourteen 
miles. Then he encamped on the summit of that part 
of the mountain to the right of the road', where he re- 
mained until he was attacked on the 7th. 

When the troops from the different counties met at 
the head of the Catawba River, the commanding officers 
met, and finding that they were all of equal grade, and 
no general officer to command, it was decided that Col. 
Charles McDowell should go to headquarters, supposed 
to be between Charlotte and Salisbury, to obtain Gen- 
eral Sumner or General Davidson to' take the command. 
In the meantime, it was agreed that Col. William Camp- 
bell, who had the largest regiment, should take the com- 
mand until the arrival of a general officer, who was to 
act according to the advice of the colonels commanding, 
and that Maj. Joseph McDowell should takle the com- 
mand of the Burke and Rutherford regiment until the 
return of Colonel McDowell. 


Shortly after these measures were adopted, intelli- 
gence was received that Colonel Ferguson had left Gil- 
bertstown, and it was decided that they would march 
after him, by that place, and on their way received evi- 
dence that it was his design to evade an engagement 
with them. On the evening of the 4th of October, the 
colonels in council unanimously resolved that they 
would select all the men and horses fit for service and 
immediately pursue Ferguson until they should over- 
take him, leaving such as were not able to go, to come 
after as they could. The next evening the selection 
was made, and nine hundred and ten men, including 
officers, were marched before, leaving the others to fol- 

They canue to the Oowpens, where Ferguson had 
encamped on the night of the 5th, and there met Colonel 
Williams, of South Carolina, with near four hundred 
men, and about sixty from Lincoln County, who had 
joined them on their march, under Colonel Hambright 
and Major Chronicle. After drawing rationsi of beef, 
the whole proceeded on, a little before sunset, taking 
Ferguson's trad towards Deer's Ferry, on Broad Eiver. 
Night coming on, and being very dark, their pilot got 
out of the right way, and for some time they were lost ; 
but before daylight they reached near the ferry, and by 
direction of the officers, the pilot led them to the Chero- 
kee Ford, about a mile and a half below, as it was not 
known but the enemy might be in possession of the east- 
ern bank of the river. It was on the morning of the 7th, 
before sunrise, when they crossed the river, and marched 
about two miles to the place where Ferguson had en- 
camped on the night of the 5th. 

king's mountain. 279 

There they halted a short time, and took such break- 
fast as their wallets and saddlebags could afford. The 
day was showery, and they were obliged to use their 
blankets and greatcoats to protect their arms from wet. 
They passed on a dozen of miles without seeing any per- 
son; at length, they met a lad, in an old field, by the 
name of Fonderin, about twelve or fourteen years of 
age, who had a brother and other relations in Ferguson's 
camp, and who was directly from it, Avithin less than 
three mUes. A halt was ordered, and the colonels met 
in consultation. Several persons knew the ground well 
on which the enemy was encamped, agreeably to the in- 
formation given by the boy of their position. The plan 
of battle was immediately settled, that the force should 
be nearly equally divided, and one-half should take to 
the right, cross over and occupy the southeast side of 
the mountain, and the other should advance to the north- 
west side, and that each division would move forward 
until they formed a junction, when all should face to the 
front and press upon the enemy up the sides of the 
mountain. Orders were given to prepare for battle by 
laying aside every incumbrance, examining well their 
arms, and guarding against alarm. The orders were 
speedily obeyed, and they moved forward over King's 
Creek, and up a branch and ravine, and between two 
rocky knobs, which, when they had passed, the top of 
the mountain and the enemy's camp upon it, were in 
full view, about one hundred poles in front. Here they 
halted and tied their horses, leaving the necessary guard 
with them. It was now three o'clock in the afternoon. 

The enemy's camp was to the right of the road, seventy 
or eighty poles in length, and on the siummit of the 


mountain, which at this place runs nearly northeast 
and' southwest (the shadow of the timber at half-past one 
p. m. ranges with it). The troops were led on in the 
following order: To the right, Major Winston, Colonel 
Sevier, Colonel Campbell, Colonel Shelby and Major 
McDowell; to the left, Colonel Hambright, Colonel 
Cleveland, and Colonel Williams, of South Carolina. 

Each division moved on steadily to the place assigned 
to them in the order of battle. Some of the regiments 
suffered much under galling fire of the enemy before 
they were in a position to engage in the action. Some 
complaints began to be uttered that it would never do to 
be shot down without returning the fire. Colonel Shel- 
by replied, "Press on to your places, and then your fire 
will not be lost." 

The men led by Shelby and McDowell were soon 
closely engaged, and the contest from the first was very 
severe. Williams and Cleveland were soon in their 
places, and with the utmost energy engaged the foe. 
Ferguson, finding that the end of his line was giving 
way, ordered forward his regulars and riflemen, with 
bayonets, and made a furious charge upon Shelby and 
McDowell, charging down the mountain some two hun- 
dred yards. A united and destructive fire soon com- 
pelled him to order his party back to the top of the 

To ward off the deadly attack from Colonel Williams, 
Ferguson again charged with fury down the mountain. 
When Shelby's men saw this, they raised the cry, "Come 
on men, the enemy is retreating." They rallied by the 
time Ferguson returned from the charge against the 
South Carolinians, renewed their fire with great resolu- 

king's mountain. 281 

tion. Ferguson again charged upon Shelby, but not 
so far as befora Colonel Williams' men, in turn, called 
out, "The enemy is retreating; come on, men." 

At this stage of the action, Hambright and Winston 
had met, and a brisk fire was poured upon Ferguson's 
men all around the mountain. As he would advance 
towards Campbell, Sevier, Winston and Hambright, he 
was pursued by Shelby, McDowell, Williams and Cleve- 
land. When he would turn his forces against the lat- 
ter, the former would press on in pursuit. Thus he 
struggled on, making charges and retreats, but his left 
was rapidly loosing ground. His men were rapidly fall- 
ing before the skillful aim and unbending courage of the 
Whigs. Even after being wounded, he fought on with 
courage. He made every effort that could be done by a 
brave and skillful officer, according to his position. At 
length he was shot dead, and his whole command driven 
up into a group of sixty yards in length and not forty in 

The British officer. Captain Depeyster, who took the 
command, ordered a white flag to be raised in token of 
surrender, but the bearer was instantly shot down. He 
soon had another raised, and called out for quarter. 
Colonel Shelby demanded, if they surrendered, why they 
did not lay down their arms. It was instantly done. 

But still the firing was continued, until Shelby and 
Sevier went inside the lines and ordered the men to 
cease. Some who kept it up, would call out, "Give them 
Buford's play." Alluding to Colonel Buford's defeat by 
Tarleton, where no quarters were given. A guard was 
placed over the prisoners, and all remained on the moun- 
tain during the night. 


The party which led the left wing under Colonel Ham- 
bright suffered very much, having to pass very difficult 
ground to reach their place of destination, and within 
eighty yards of the enemy's marksmen. Colonel Ham- 
bright was wounded, and Major Chronicle was killed. 
Colonel Williams, of South Carolina, a brave and effi- 
cient ollEicer, was also killed. The loss of the Whigs was 
not exactly ascertained, but believed to be about thirty 
killed and fifty wounded. The enemy had about one 
hundred and fifty killed, and all the rest taken prisoners. 

On the morning of the 8th, a court-martial was held. 
Several of the prisoners who were found guilty of mur- 
der and other high crimes, were sentenced to be hanged. 
About twenty were executed. 

At the forks of the branch where Major Chronicle and 
Captain Mattocks were! buried, a monument was erected. 
On the east side is the following inscription : 

"Sacred to the memory of Maj. William Chronicle and 
Capt. John Mattocks, William Eabb and John Boyd, 
who were killed at this place on the 7th of October, 1780, 
fighting in defence of America." 

Inscribed on the western side of said monument, fac- 
ing the battle-ground : 

"Colonel Ferguson, an officer of His British Majesty, 
was defeated and killed at this place on the 7th of Octo- 
ber, 1780." 


Col. Williams force was recruited by funds furnished by the State of North Caro- 
lina. In the North Carolina Legislature (Senate) on November 7th, 1788, there was 
introduced the Memorial and petition of Jno. Williams setting forth that his father 
James Williams, late of South Carolina was, in the year 1780, intrusted with a 
considerable sum of money to be applied to the use of this State and that by 
reason of death and other unavoidable accidents he cannot account for disburse- 
ment and application and praying direction of the Legislature. Mr. Thomas 
Person, Chairman of the Committee on Propositions and Grievances in the House 
of Commons, November 20th, submitting the following report : 

The committee to whom the petition of John Williams, eldest surviving son of 

king's mountain. 283 

James Williams, of S. C, deceased, was referred, report that by a resolution of 
the General Assembly passed at HlUsboro in 1780 the said petitioner's father 
James Williams was authorized to draw the sum of $2S,000 from the Treasury of 
the State conditioned that the money should be applied in raising troops for the 
defense of this State then invaded by the British Army, that your committee are 
Induced to believe that the money was applied to that particular business as he 
was soon after the reception thereof, seen in action at the Battle of King's Moun- 
tain at the head of three or four hundred men where he gloriously fell. Your com- 
mittee therefore beg leave that a resolution be passed releasing and acquitting the 
said James Williams, his heirs, executors or administrators from the aforesaid 

The following was adopted by the Legislature : 

Resolved, That the estate of James Williams, deceased, late of the State of S. C. 
be released and acquitted from the payment of $25,000 advanced to the said de- 
ceased in his life-time by this State for the purpose of raising men for the defense 
of this and the United States, it having been manifested to this Assembly that he 
was in action at the Battle of King's Mountain where he headed three or four 
hundred men and In which action he gloriously fell, a sacrifice to liberty. 

Col. Williams was a citizen of Granville county and afterwards moved to South 
Carolina. Gov. Nash gave him authority to raise a force not exceeding one hun- 
dred men in North Carolina. Draper, in his Heroes of King's Mountain, states 
that all of Williams' original force was recruited in Rowan County, North Caro- 
lina. He Joined Campbells troops at the Catawba river ; he had with him Chron- 
icle, Hambright and their troops from Lincoln county who probably united with 
him as he passed through their section as he would have done in marching from 
Charlotte to Cowpens.— Ed. 




2. Genbrai, Greene Assumes Command. 

3. Battle of Cowan's Ford (with map) Route to 

Salisbury and Trading Ford. 


When the shattered remains of Gates' army arrived at 
Hillsboro, it was re-organized, and a corps of light in- 
fantry formed and placed under the command of Gen- 
eral Morgan, who had just arrived from the North. This 
corps and the cavalry under Colonel Washington were 
despatched westward, and reached Salisbury about the 
time the British army left Charlotte. They came and 
formed a junction with General Davidson, and moved 
in advance of Charlotte twelve miles, and encamped on 
Six-mile Creek, where they remained for some time. 
General Smallwood afterwards arrived and took the 
command.* The cavalry under Colonel Davie, and in- 
fantry under General Davidson, whose term of service 
expired in November, returned home. Towards the end 
of November, General Gates arrived with the remains of 
his army, at Charlotte, and recalled the commands of 
Smallwool and Morgan to that place. Nothing of con- 
sequence now occurred in this quarter, except the cap- 

*The Journal of the Board of War of North Carolina, established about this 
time, and holding its sessions at Hillsboro, affords much information respecting 
events of this period. It there appears, that Brig. Gen. Smallwood of the Mary- 
land line, was by the Legislature, then sitting at the same place, created a MaJ. 
Gen. and requested to take command of our State Militia a t that time in service, 
a proceeding which offended the sensibilities of various officers and caused Gen. 
Sumuer, to retire temporarily from the service. 


ture of Colonel Rugely's party by Colonel Washington, 
with the pine log, so well related by all the historians. 


General Greene arrived at Charlotte early in Decem- 
ber and took command of the Southern army. He dis- 
covered that the country where the army now lay, 
though fertile and well cultivated, was much exhausted 
by being so long occupied by both armies, and decided 
on making a new: disposition of his forces. He ordered 
General Morgan, with the light infantry under Colonel 
Howard, and the cavalry under Colonel Washington, 
together with what volunteer militia could be collected, 
to cross the Catawba and Broad Rivers and occupy a 
position nearly equidistant from the British headquar- 
ters and their post of Ninety- Six. General Greene, with 
the main army, set out and took up a position beyond 
Pee Dee, seventy miles to^ the east; it being convenient 
for raising supplies of provisions and forage; calcula- 
ting that if the enemy should advance again, the the peo- 
ple of Mecklenburg and Rowan, between the Catawba 
and Yadkin, acting as heretofore, Avould answer the pur- 
pose of a central army. 

Lord Comwallis continued at Winnsboro waiting for 
reinforcements under General Leslie, and stores from 
Charleston. Ascertaining the security of the posts oc- 
cupied by his detachments, and getting accurate infor- 
mation of the disposition made of his troops, by his ad- 
versary, he broke up his encampment at Winnsboro 
early in January, 1781, and sent a strong detachment 


under Colonel Tarleton against General Morgan, and 
at the same time, with his main army, advanced by slow 
movements between the Catawba and Broad Elvers. 

The movement before the battle of the Cowpens and 
the action itself are well described by the historians. 

As soon as General Davidson was advised of the Brit- 
ish army again advancing, he ordered out the next de- 
tachment which was detailed for duty from the coun- 
ties (the counties then composing one brigade, com- 
manded first by Rutherford and then by Davidson, were 
the old Superior Court Districts of Salisbury and Mor- 
gan, now composing the fourth and fifth divisions of 
North Carolina militia, whose returns of effective men 
at this time (1821) exceed twenty thousand) under his 
command to rendezvous between Charlotte and the Ca- 
tawba River. On the 19th of January, he received in- 
formation of Tarleton's defeat at Cowpens. On the 
21st, a party of twenty Whigs who lived in the country 
southeast of the Cowpens (but had not been in the fight) 
brought into our camp twenty-eight prisoners, British 
stragglers, whom they had taken, most of whom were 
wounded; they were sent on eastwardly the same day. 
General Davidson being advised of the rapid advance of 
the British army, and the troops joining him being all 
infantry, and General Greene having appointed Colonel 
Davie to superintend the commissariat department, di- 
rected Adjutant Graham, who had now recovered of his 
wounds received in advance of Charlotte on the 26th 
September, to raise a company of cavalry, promising 
that those who furnished their own horses and equip- 
ments and served six weeks, should be considered as 
having served a tour of three months, the term of duty 


•required by law. In a few days he succeeded in raising 
a company of fifty-six, mostly enterprising young 
men who had seen service, but found it difficult to pro- 
cure arms. Only forty-five swords could be produced, 
and one-half of them were made by the country black- 
smiths. Only fifteen had pistols, but they all had rifles. 
They carried the muzzle in a small boot, fastened beside 
the right stirrup-leather, and the butt ran through the 
shot-bag belt, so that the lock came directly under the 
right arm. Those who had a pistol, carried it swung by 
a strap about the size of a bridle rein on the left side, 
over the sword, which was belted higher than the modern 
mode of wearing them, so as not to entangle the legs 
when acting on foot. They had at all times all their 
arms with them, whether on foot or on horseback, and 
could act as infantry or cavalry, and move individually 
or collectively, as emergencies might require. With 
those arms, and mounted generally on strong and dura- 
ble horses, with a pair of saddle-bags for the conven- 
ience of the rider, and a waUet of provender for his 
horse, they were ready for service, without commissary, 
quartermaster, or other staff. 

After the battle of Oowpens, Lord Cornwallis was 
nearer the crossings on the Catawba than General Mor- 
gan, and continuing to move up the country, compelled 
Morgan to take a circuit around him. From the 24th 
of January until the 3d of February, Cornwallis was 
seldom more than twenty miles from Morgan, and some- 
times not half SO' far, and kept moving parallel to him ; 
but never came into his trail until within sixteen miles 
of Salisbury on the 3d of February.* 

*Gen. Morgan, as soon as his pursuers and prisoners were collected, marched 
over the Island Ford on Broad River, and up past Gilbertstown. Here he de- 


On the 24t]i of January, Cornwallis reached Ram- 
sour's, and encamped on the hill where the battle had 
been fought with the Tories on the 20th June preceding. 
Here he remained one day, either to ascertain in what 
direction to search for Greneral Morgan, or to afford his 
numerous friends an opportunity to join him. 


General Davidson, finding the enemy approaching so 
near, divided those under his command in order to guard 
the different fords on the Catawba. At Tuckasege 
Ford, on the road leadiug from Eamsour's to Charlotte, 
he placed two hundred men under Col. John Williams, 
of Surry, at Tool's Ford, seventy men under Captain 
Potts, of Mecklenburg, at Cowan's Ford, twenty-five 
men under Lieut. Thos. Davidson, of Mecklenburg. At 
Tuckasege and Tool's fords, trees were felled in the 
road, and a ditch dug and parapet made. There were 
no such defences at the other fords. With his great- 
est force, and Graham's cavalry, he took post at Beattie's 
Ford, on the road from Eamsour's to Salisbury, being 
twenty miles above Colonel Williams. On the 30th, 
the cavalry were despatched over the river, and ascer- 
tained that the enemy were encamped within four miles. 
Within two miles they discovered one hundred of their 

tached the greater part of his Militia and a part of Washingtou'.s Calvary with the 
prisoners. The detachment tools the Cane Creek roa A through the ledge of moun- 
tains, which divide the heads of the South Fork from the main Catawba, and 
down that river past where Moreanton now stands and crossed the Cat^,wba at 
the Island Ford. At the Ford Washington's Cavalry left the prisoners with the 
Militia and joined Morgan on his march to the east. 

The above note, by the writer, solves a question, on which there has been some 
confusion, and contradictory sta^tements, to-wit: whether Morgan crossed the 
Catawba at the Island Ford or Sherrill's Ford. It is here shown, that the detach- 
ment of his force, with the prisoners crossed, at the former but It will presently 
appear in the next text, that he himself, with his immediate command passed at 
Sherrill's Ford. 

j g On ike Cafau/ioL Riuer ^ and Poiition. of 
1^ ike. American an4 Mr itC^ perce% gttke 
■liiwe tAtftV £uqle rouMW-^cA-e Chjirce ai 

of Feisrufuy^ HSi, 

cowan's ford. 289) 

cavalry, who followed them to the river, but kept at a 
respectful distance. The dispositions that were being 
made caused them to fear an ambuscade. The same 
evening (30th), General Morgan crossed the river at 
Sherrill's Ford, ten miles higher up, and the next morn- 
ing sent on the troops under his command with Colonel 
Howard directly towards Salisbury. He himself and Col- 
onel Washington came down to Beattie's Ford about two 
o'clock, and in ten minutes. General Greene and his aide, 
Major Pierce, arrived. He had been early informed of 
the movements of the British army, and had first put his 
troops in motion, then leaving them under command of 
General Huger on their march towards Salisbury, he 
had come on to ascertain the situation of affairs, and 
gave orders to the officers in this quarter. General 
Morgan and Colonel Washington met him at this place 
by appointment. They and General Davidson retired 
with him out of camp, and seating themselves on a log, 
had a conversation of about twenty minutes; they then 
mounted their horses. General Greene and aide took the 
road' to Salisbury, Morgan and Washington a way that 
led to the troops marching under Howard. About the 
time General Greene had arrived, the British vanguard, 
of about four or five hundred men, appeared on the 
opposite hill beyond the river. Shortly after their arri- 
val, some principal officer, with a numerous staff, 
thought to be Lord Comwallis, passed in front of them 
at different stations, halting and apparently viewing us 
with spy-glasses. In about one hour after General 
Greene's departure, General Davidson gave orders to the 
cavalry and about two hundred and fifty infantry to 
march down the river to Cowan's Ford, four miles be- 



low Beattie's, leaving nearly the same number at tliat 
place under the command of Colonel Farmer, of Orange. 
On the march he stated to the commanding ofEicer of the 
cavalry "That though General Greene had never seen 
the Catawba before, he appeared to know more about it 
than those who were raised on it,'' and it was the Gen- 
eral's opinion that the enemy were determined to cross 
the river; and he thought it probable their cavalry would 
pass over some private ford in the night; and in the 
morning when the infantry attempted to force a pass- 
age, would attack those who resisted it in the rear; and 
as there was no other cavalry between Beattie's and 
Tuckasege, he ordered that patrols who were best ac- 
quainted Tfith the country, should keep passing up and 
down all night, and on discovering any party of the 
enemy to have gotten over, to give immediate informa- 
tion to him. These orders were carried into effect. The 
party arrived at the ford about dusk in the evening, and 
after encamping, it was too dark to examine our posi- 
tion. At Cowan's Ford, the river is supposed to be 
about four hundred yards wide, of different depths, and 
rocky bottom. That called the wagon ford goes directly 
across the river; on coming out, on the eastern shore, 
the road turns down, and winds up the point of a ridge, 
in order to graduate the ascent until it comes to its 
proper direction. Above the coming-out place, a flat piece 
of ground, not much higher than the water, grown over 
with haw and persimmon bushes and bamboo briars, 
five and six yards wide, extends up the river about thir- 
ty-one poles to the south of a small branch and deep 
ravine. Outside of this, the bank rises thirty or forty 

cowan's ford. 291 

feet at an angle of thirty degrees elevation ; then the rise 
is more gradual. That called the horse ford (at the 
present time much the most used) comes in on the west 
at the same place with the wagon ford, goes obliquely- 
down the river about two-thirds of the way across, to the 
point of a large island, thence through the island and 
across the other one-third to the point of a rocky hill. 
Though longer, this way is much shallower and smoother 
than the wagon ford, and comes out about a quarter of 
a mile below it. 

From the information received, General Davidson sup- 
posed that if the enemy attempted to cross here, they 
would take the horse ford ; accordingly he encamped on 
the hill which overlooks it. Lieut. Thos. Davidson's 
picket of twenty-five men remained at their station, 
about fifty steps above the wagon ford, on the flat piece 
of ground before described, near the water's edge. 

On the same day, as Cornwallis was marching to Beat- 
tie's Ford, about two miles from it, at Colonel Black's 
farm he left behind him under the command of Briga- 
dier-General O'Hara, twelve hundred infantry and Tar- 
leton's cavalry, which, in the night, moved secretly 
down to Cowan's Ford, only three miles below. The 
next day at dawn, 1st February, 1781, he had his col- 
umns formed', the infantry in front with fixed bayonets, 
muskets empty, carried on the left shoulder at a slope, 
cartridge-box on the same shoulder, and each man had 
a stick about the size of a hoop pole eight feet long, 
which he kept setting on the bottom below him, to sup- 
port him against the rapidity of the current, which was 
generally waist deep, and in some places more. It is 
stated by the historians that the river was swollen so as 


to impede the passage of the British. The fact is, it 
was fordable from a week before until two days after 
this time, though a little deeper than usual. The cause 
of the enemy's delay must have been the disposition by 
General Davidson to guard the fords. 

The command of the front was committed to Colonel 
Hall, of the Guards, who had for a guide Frederick 
Hager, who lived within two miles of the place. They 
entered the river by sections of four, and took the 
wagon ford. The morning was cloudy, and a fog hung 
over the water, so that Lieut. Davidson's sentinel could 
not see them until they were near one hundred yards in 
the river. He instantly fired on them, which roused the 
guard, who kept up the fire, but the enemy continued to 
advance. At the first alarm, those under General Dav- 
idson paraded at the horse ford, and Graham's cavalry 
was ordered to move up briskly, to assist the picket, but 
by the time they got there, and tied their horses, and 
came up in line to the high bank above the ford, in front 
of the column, it was within fifty yards of the eastern 
shore. They took steady and deliberate aim and fired. 
The effect was visible. The three first ranks looked 
thinned, and they halted. Colonel Hall was the first 
man who appeared on horseback, behind about one hun- 
dred yards. He came pressing upi their right flank on 
the lower side, and was distinctly heard giving orders, 
but we could not hear what they were. The column 
again got in motion, and kept on. One of the cavalry 
riflemen* reloaded, aimed at Colonel Hall ; at the flash of 
(he gun, both rider and horse went under the water, and 
rose down the stream. It appeared that the horse had 

» Thomas Barnett, yet living. 

cowan's ford. 293 

gone over the man. Two or three soldiers caught him 
and raised him on the upper side. Tlie enemy Itept 
steadily on, notwithstanding our fire was well main- 
tained. As each section reached the shore, they dropped 
their poles and brought their muskets and cartridge- 
boxes to their proper places, faced to the left, and 
moved up the narrow strip of low ground, to make room 
for the succeeding section, which moved on in the same 
manner. By the time the front rank got twenty or 
thirty steps up the river, they had loaded their pieces 
and began to fire up the bank. The Americans receded 
a few steps back, and when ready to fire would advance 
to the summit of the hill, twenty-five or thirty steps from 
the enemy, as they devolved up the river bank. They 
had gained the ford and just commenced firing when 
General Davidson arrived from the horse ford with the 
infantry, and finding his cavalry on the ground he chose 
to occupy, and impressed with the opinion given by 
General Greene, that the enemy's cavalry would attack 
them in the rear, he ordered Graham's men to mount 
and go up the ridge and form two hundred yards be- 
hind. As they moved off, the infantry took their places, 
and the firing became brisk on both sides. The enemy 
moved steadily forward, their fire increasing, until their 
left reached the mouth of the branch, upwards of thirty 
poles from the ford. The ravine was too steep to pass. 
The rear of their infantry and front of their cavalry 
was about the middle of the river when the bugle 
sounded on their left, on which their fire slackened and 
nearly ceased (they were loading their pieces). In 
about a minute it sounded again, when their whole line 
from the ford branch advanced up the bank, with their 


arms at a trail. The hill was in many places so steep 
that they had to pull up by the bushes. 

General Davidson, finding them advancing with 
loaded arms, ordered a retreat for one hundred yards. 
On gaining the point of the ridge, their fire was so 
heavy that he had to recede fifty steps beyond the ground 
assigned for formation ; he then ordered his men to take 
trees, and had them arranged to renew the battle. The 
enemy was advancing slowly in line, and only firing scat- 
teringly, when General Davidson was pierced by a ball 
and fell dead from his horse. 

His infantry retreated in disorder from the unequal 
contest. They dispersed in small squads, and took 
through the thickets in order to evade the enemy's ca- 
valry. Graham's cavalry, which was formed about one 
hundred yards in the rear of where Davidson fell, moved 
off in order. 

The General was shot with a small rifle ball, near the 
nipple of the left breast, and never moved after he fell. 
It was well known that their pilot, Frederick Hager, 
had a rifle of this description, and it was always believed 
that he shot him. Most of the other Tories returned at or 
before the end of the war, but Hager Avent to Tennessee 
and stayed there until some of the Davidson family 
moved to that country, when he moved with eight or 
ten others, all fugitives from justice, and made the 
first American settlement on the Arkansas River, near 
Six Post, married and raised a family there, and died 
in the year 1814. Maj. David Wilson and two others 
found the General's body in the evening, carried him off 
in the. night, and buried him at Hopewell Church. The 

cowan's ford. 295 

grave is yet known, and though Congress afterwards 
passed a resolution appropriating five hundred dollars 
for the monument, strange to tell nothing is yet done to 
execute it. For his biography, see Lee's Memoirs. 

At an early hour, Cornwallis placed his remaining 
force in array on the face of the hill fronting Seattle's 
Ford ; and as soon as the firing commenced at Cowan's 
Ford', made demonstrations of attacking the post at 
Seattle's. A! company went into the water forty or fifty 
steps and fired. Four pieces of artillery fired smartly 
for thirty minutes, and his front lines kept firing by pla- 
toons, as in field exercises. It was only a feint, how- 
ever. Few shot of the musketry reached the opposite 
shore, and the artillery did no injury, but cut off the 
branches of some trees near our line, which was masked 
by the point of the hill from the enemy's fire. The ford 
was one hundred yards higher up then than now. When 
the British were deploying up the bank at Cowan's Ford, 
owing to the fog and density of the atmosphere, the re- 
port of the artillery and platoons at Seattle's came 
down the river like repeated peals of thunder, as though 
it were within a mile, and was heard over the country 
to the distance of twenty -five miles. Although it had no 
effect on our troops engaged at Cowan's ( for they acted 
well under the circumstances ) , yet it had a wonderful 
effect on the people of the adjacent country. Hitching 
up their teams in great haste, and packing up their 
most valuable goods and some means of subsistence, the 
men who were not in service and women and children 
abandoned their homes and drove off in different direc- 
tions. In one hour after the firing, the whole countr^^ 
appeared in motion, but unfortunately too many of them 


fled into the Salisbiiry road. The baggage and provis- 
ion Avagons had started from Cowan's as soon as the 
action began. Graham's cavalry maintained their order 
and expected the enemy's cavalry would' pursue the bag- 
gage. A disposition was therefore made by placing four 
men with good horses as a rear guard, and despatching 
two others to give directions to the wagon master if he 
heard firing in his rear, to cause the teamsters to cut 
the horses from the wagons and clear themselves. IMov- 
ing on slowly, halting occasionally, and no enemy ap- 
pearing, it occurred to the commanding officer that the 
enemy's design must be to take Colonel Farmer in the 
rear at Beattie's Ford (if he had maintained his posi- 
tion against the tremendous cannonade). It was be- 
lieved he had no intelligence of their being actually 
across below the ford. The cavalry filed along a by- 
road to give him notice, intending to form a junction 
M'ith the foot one and a half miles from the ford at a 
farm. An old lady (the only person at the place) in- 
formed them that shortly after the firing had ceased, 
General Davidson's aide had given notice to the party 
at Beattie's, and they had retired already some distance 
on the Salisbury' road. Some rain had fallen, and the 
men were wet and cold, and both men and horses hav- 
ing had but a scanty supply of provision at Cowan's the 
evening before, it was concluded to get some sustenance 
and take it off a mile or two in the woods and eat it. 
Videttes were ordered out, and agreeably to rule in 
such cases, each right-hand file ordered to dismount and 
procure food for himself, comrade and their horses, 
while the left file held the horses. They had not gotten 
halt their supply when one of the videttes gave notice 

cowan's foed. 297 

that on the other side of the farm some men were in view, 
believed to be the enemy, but having hussar cloaks over 
their uniforms, could not be clearly ascertained. But 
by the tails of their horses being docked square off, which 
all knew was the mark of Tarleton's cavalry, they were 
instantly recognized, and orders given to mount, front- 
ing the enemy. When all were in their places, they 
wheeled off and up a lane, the whole British cavalry 
coming briskly round the farm on the other side. When 
Graham's party passed over a rise in the ground beyond 
the lane, they turned short to the right, and in twenty- 
five poles crossed a swampy branch. When the advance 
got over, they wheeled to protect the rear, but the enemy 
were so eager in pursuit, that they did not discover them, 
but kept on at a brisk gallop along the Salisbury road. 
This was about two miles from Torrence's Tavern, 
whither they were bound. 

The men who retreated from Beattie's Ford, and some 
of those who had been at Cowan's, and many others, 
some of them South Carolina refugees, as they arrived 
at Torrence's Tavern, halted. Being wet, cold and hun- 
gry, they began to drink spirits, carrying it out in pails- 
ful. The wagons of many of the movers, with their 
property, were in the lane, the armed men all out of 
order and mixed with the wagons and people, so that 
the lane could scarcely be passed, when the sound of 
alarm was given from the west end of the lane, "Tarleton 
is coming." Though none had had time to become in- 
toxicated, it was difficult to decide what course to pur- 
sue at such a crisis. Capt. Nathaniel M. Martin, who 
had served under Colonel Davie, and six or eight others 
(armed as cavalry), rode up, meeting the enemy, and 


calling to the men to get over the fences and turn 
facing the enemy — that he could make them halt until 
they could be ready; some appeared disposed to do so; 
others, when they crossed the fence, kept on, some with 
their pails of whiskey. Martin moved forward until 
within fifty yards of the enemy. They halted near two 
minutes. Tarleton could readily discover the confusion 
and disorder that prevailed. One of his party fired a 
carbine and shot down Captain Martin's horse; he was 
entangled and taken prisoner, but escaped from the 
guard two daysi after. Tarleton and corps charged 
through the lane. The militia fled in every direction. 
Those who were on horseback and kept the roads were 
pursued about half a mile. Ten were killed, of whom 
several were old men, unarmed, who had come there in 
the general alarm, and a few were wounded, all with 
sabres ; but a few guns were fired. On the return of the 
dragoons from the pursuit, they made great destruction 
of the property in the wagons of those who were moving ; 
ripped up beds and strewed the feathers, until the lane 
was covered with them. Everything else they could 
destroy was used in the same manner. 

At Cowan's Ford, besides General Davidson, there 
were killed James Scott, of Lieutenant Davidson's 
picket; Robert Beatty, of Graham's cavalry, and one 
private of General Davidson's infantry — in all, four. 
We had none "iiounded or taken. The enemy's loss, as 
stated in the official account, published in the Charleston 
Gazette, two months after, was Colonel Hall, of the 
Guard, and another officer and twenty-nine privates — 
thirty-one in all killed, and thirty-five wounded. They 
left sixteen who were so badly wounded that they could 

cowan's ford. 299 

not be taken along, at Mr. Lucas' (the nearest farm), 
and a surgeon under protection of the flag was left with 
them. Two wounded officers were carried on biers, and 
such of the other wounded as could not walk were hauled 
in wagons. Some of their dead were found down the 
river some distance, lodged in fish traps and in brush 
about the banks, on rocks, etc. An elegant beaver hat, 
made agreeably to the fashion of those times, marked 
inside, "The property of Josiah Martin, Governor," was 
found ten miles below. It never was explained by what 
means his Excellency lost his hat. He was not hurt 
himself. When General O'Hara sent on Tarleton, his 
men kindled fires on the battle-ground to dry themselves, 
cook their breakfast, etc. They buried their dead, dis- 
posed of their wounded, and about midday he marched, 
and in the afternoon united with Lord Cornwallis at 
Given's plantation, two miles from Seattle's Ford, and 
one mile south of the Salisbury road. Tarleton joined 
them before night. It had rained at times all day, and 
in the evening and night it fell in torrents. 

The men under Colonel Williams and Captain Potts 
who were guarding at Tuckasege and Tool's fords, had 
early notice of the enemy's crossing, and retired. The 
different parties met in the afternoon at John McK. 
Alexander's, eight miles above Charlotte. By noon the 
next day all the men who were not dispersed, were col- 
lected near Harris' Mill on Rocky River, ten miles from 
the enemy. 

On the second of February the morning was clear, 
though the roads very bad with the rain that had fallen 
the preceding night. The British army marched ten 
miles to Nelson's plantation, and encamped. On their 


way they burnt Torrence's Tavern, at that time kept by 
the widow Torrence ; her husband had been killed at the 
battle of Eamsour's Mill; and the dwelling of John 
Brevard, Esq. Mr. Brevard was the father-in-law of 
General Davidson, and at that time had several sons in 
the regular service. No other cause could be assigned 
for this barbarous mode of warfare. One of these sons 
was Dr. Ephraim Brevard, the author of the famous 
Mecklenburg Eesolutions. He had been captured in 
the surrender of Charleston, and died of disease con- 
tracted while a prisoner, in the summer of 1780. 

Being now within twenty miles of Salisbury, the 
British General, not doubting that the rains and bad 
roads would obstruct the march of General Morgan as 
much as it did his own, on the 3d of February marched 
at an early hour. His pioneers opened a kind of track in 
the bushes on each side of the road for a single file. 
The wagons, artillery and horsemen only kept the road. 
By the time they got within eight miles of Salisbury, 
their line of march was extended four miles, but there 
were no troops near to intercept them. Their van ar- 
rived in Salisbury about three o'clock. Before the rear 
came in, Brigadier-General O'Hara and the cavalry 
moved on. It was seven miles to the Trading Ford on 
the Yadkin, and it was getting dark when he came near. 
General Morgan had passed his regulars and baggage all 
over, and there remained on the south side only one hun- 
dred and fifty militia and the baggage wagons of the 
troops which had escaped from Cowan's Ford, and some 
others. Finding the British approaching, the militia 
were drawn up near a half mile from the ford, where a 
branch crosses which was covered with small timber 

cowan's ford. 301 

and bushes, and there was an old field along the road in 
their front. When O'Hara came, twilight was nearly 
gone. The American position was low along the branch, 
nnder shade of the timber ; that of the advancing foe was 
open and on higher ground, and between them and the 
sky, was quite visible. When they came within sixty 
steps, the Americans commenced firing, the enemy re- 
turned it and began to form in line. As their rear came 
up, they extended their line to the right, and were 
turning the left flank of the militia by crossing the 
branch above. This being discovered, a retreat was 
ordered after having fired, some two, some three rounds. 
It was easily effected in the dark. They passed down 
the river two miles and crossed over, abandoning the 
baggage and other wagons which could not be gotten 
over, to the enemy, after taking out the horses. Two of 
the militia were killed ; the loss of the enemy was not 
known, but from appearances of blood in different 
places, believed to be ten or twelve. They were by far 
the most numerous, yet from the positions of the con- 
tending parties were most exposed. After the firing 
ceased, the British marched on to the river, but found 
the water was too deep to ford, and still rising, and that 
General Morgan, encamped on the other side, had with 
him all the boats and canoes. 

General O'Hara returned to Salisbury the same night, 
notwithstanding the badness of the roads. Those under 
his command marched thirty-four miles in the course of 
this day and part of the night. On the 4th, the army 
needed rest, and their commander being, it is supposed, 
undecided what course to pursue, they remained in Sal- 


N. B. — General Graham Is mistaken as to Cornwallis crossing 
the Catawha at Seattle's Ford. In his account of the affair as 
stated in the Coloniad Records, lately published by the State, he 
says he crossed at Cowan's. He issued complimentary orders to 
his troops for their behavior on that occasion. He seenJs to have 
committed the management of the crossing tO' the direction of 
General O'Hara and not! to have assumed command until the union 
with Webster's forces who crossed at Seattle's Ford. 

Major Stedman, his commissary, says Cornwallis' horse was 
killed at Cowan's Ford. 

Cornwallis delayed several days — from the 20th to the 23rd of 
January — in the country between Gilbertstown and Tryon Court 
House. He probably expected Morgan to retreat on the south side 
of South Mountains as the nearest route to reinforcements. Gene- 
ral Greene's main body of troops had been at Cheraw. Morgan, 
however, went around the South Mountains, came by where Mor- 
ganton is now located, then along the "State road" by the site of 
Maiden, to Mrs. Bollcks. Here he sent the prisoners on to Island 
Pord, where they crossed on the 29th of January, he with a portion 
of his troops took the Sherrill's Ford road, placing himself be- 
tween Cornwallis and the prisoners, and crossed the Catawba on 
the 30th, while Cornwallis was at Forney's. 

Cornwallis reached Ramsour's Mill (Lincoln ton) before Morgan 
did the site of Maiden; he probably passed Maiden while Corn- 
wallis was at Ramsour's, only nine miles distant. At any time 
from the 24th to the 28th fifteen miles to the left would have placed 
Cornwallis between Morgan and the Catawba River. 



In 1891, Judge Schenck had this narrative printed in 
pamphlet form. It was prepared by Robert Henry in 
1855. Dr. Draper and Judge Schenck pronounced it 
an historical narrative of importance: it is therefore 
necessary to notice some of its statements. 

I. That Joseph Graham was not present. 

This scarcely deserves attention. I do not suppose 
the endorsers intend to approve this statement; for he 

cowan's ford. 303 

who disputed General Graham's veracity simply im- 
peached his own. 

Mr. Henry states that he took position on the left or 
lower flank of Lieutenant Davidson's picket on the bank 
of the river — Captain Graham, as commanding officer, 
was with his reserve or main force. When he advanced 
into action he probably was on the right flank, opposite 
where the British landed, or on centre. When the in- 
fantry came to the "upper ford," the cavalry, by com- 
mand of Greneral Davidson, took position on the rear, as 
indicated on the map. 

Mr. Henry never went above his first position, and 
probably never saw Captain Graham. It is therefore 
not necessary to impute wilful misrepresentation to him 
on his erroneous statement. 

II. That no one was killed except General Davidson. 

The privates who were killed were buried by the Brit- 
ish with their own dead on rising ground near the scene 
of conflict, and with such haste as to leave a mattock be- 
hind them. 

III. That not a shot was fired on either side until the 
British reached the bank, and that this shot killed Gen- 
eral Davidson. 

The ofiicial reports of the British officers confirm 
General Graham's statement. 

Lord Cornwallis, on the 2d of February, in general 
orders, returns his "thanks to the brigade of Guards 
for their cool and determined bravery in the passage of 
the Catawba while rushing through that long and diffi- 
cult ford under a galling fire." 

See also reports of Tarleton and Steadman. 

General Davidson's body was not found and buried 


by the British, as it would have been had he been killed 
near the bank. He must have fallen on the line by 
which the Americans retired, and in a different direction 
from that which the British took in leaving the place. 
Richard Barry, one of the men who recovered his body 
that night, was in this fight, and probably knew where 
he fell ; it was a dark, rainy night. 

The geography of the place where the British landed 
also corroborates General Graham. That the position 
of General Davidson at the commencement of the en- 
gagement was as located by General Graham on the 
map is well established by history and tradition. Many 
of the participants in this battle lived in the immediate 
vicinity, and confirmed this. 

IV. That Doc Beal and not Fred Hager was the guide 
to the British, and fired the shot which killed General 

Hager, as stated by General Graham, fled to Tennes- 
see, and afterwards to Arkansas. His family and 
friends accepted this statement as true. The writer 
has lived within eight miles of Cowan's Ford for forty 
years, and has never heard any statement or seen any 
document to the contrary, unless it be that of Major 
Steadman, Lord Cornwallis' commissary, who says that 
the guide fled at the flrst fire, and that Colonel Hall, 
not knowing the ford, took the shortest cut to the bank 
of the river. Colonel Hall followed the well-known 
course of the "wagon ford," which led directly across 
the river; if he had been on the "horse ford" he would 
have been too far down to go directly across, and must 
have had a guide to direct him. If Major Steadman is 
correct as to the flight of the guide, it seems to have 


been some other than Hager, as it is improbable that he 
would have fled the country if the reports concerning 
him were untrue. It does not seem likely that Colonel 
Hall would have permitted his guide to flee. It was 
light enough for the American army to see the enemy 
two hundred yards distant, and he would have been 
plainly visible in attempting to escape. A commissary 
is seldom found at the head of a column in time of ac- 
tion. Major Steadman most probably wrote from "hear- 
say." Colonel Hall was killed and did not report. He 
went by the upper ford, which led more directly to Web- 
ster at Beattie's Ford. 

General Graham was well acquainted with the men 
who recovered General Davidson's body, also Colonel 
William Polk, who was near him when he fell; and if 
he did not know the spot, in the preparation of his map, 
could have learned it from them. He married about 
two miles from Cowan's Ford, in the Hopewell congre- 
gation. Maj. David Wilson was his wife's uncle, and 
Mr. Barry her neighbor. His home was only twelve 
miles distant. By social intercourse for forty years, he 
had ample opportunity to obtain correct accounts of all 
occurrences not witnessed by himself. 

Mr. Henry wrote his narrative seventy-five years after 
the occurrences related therein. It is an endeavor of a 
person ninety years of age to recall, without visiting the 
locality, what occurred when he was a lad of sixteen. 

He was, according to his account, an individual actor, 
and belonged to no command on this occasion. He came 
up the river and took position on the lower flank of 
Lieutenant Davidson's picket on the bank. He re- 
treated down the river to below Tuckasege Ford, some 


ten or twelve miles, and could have known nothing of 
the manner of retreat, as he did not remain to see how 
it was done. 

The reader can judge where there is material variance 
in the narratives of the writers, which had better oppor- 
tunities to obtain correct accounts, and who is best sus- 
tained by official history and tradition. Examination 
of the map will also aid the student. — W. A, Graham. 




ShaIvLow Ford. 

Gbnbrai, Pickkns Assumes Command. 

Hart's Mii<i,. 

Pyi,h's Massacrs. 

Dickey's Farm— Death of Maj. Micajah Lewis. 

Ci,App's Mill. 

Whitsell's Mill. 


The Yadkin continued full, and was past fording on 
the 4th. Lord Cornwallis therefore determined to 
change his route, by passing up the west side to Shal- 
low Ford, as he by this movement could place himself 
nearer the mountains, on the left of his adversary, and 
would have it in his power either to bring him to a 
battle, or to intercept his passage over the Dan, the 
next large watercourse. The British army marched 
from Salisbury on the morning of the 5th of February, 
and had no interruption until it arrived at a bridge 
over Second Ci^eek. There, Col. Francis Locke had 
assembled one hundred militia, and on finding the Brit- 
ish coming that way, took the plank off the bridge, and 
arranged his men at such a distance as to be able to 
destroy any who should attempt to repair it. He thus 
detained the British two or three hours, until a part of 
their cavalry filed off to a ford and were passing. As 
soon as Colonel Locke noticed this, he retreated. The 


British dragoons pursued, and the vanguard overtook 
and badly wounded a Mr. Wilson. They repaired the 
bridge, the army passed on, and in a short time got into 
Bryan's settlement among their friends. 

Davidson's troops who had been beaten, and retreated 
from the different crossings on the Catawba, and who 
had concentrated on Rocky Eiver, had early intelli- 
gence of every movement made by the enemy. When 
it was understood that the British were in Salisbury, an 
opinion was entertained that they would stay there 
some time, and it was expected they would be furnished 
with supplies from a settlement ten or fifteen miles 
southeast of that place known to be disaffected. Cap- 
tain Graham was detached with the cavalry and some 
volunteers besides, with a view of preventing such inter- 
course. Setting out early on the 5th of February (the 
same day the enemy left Salisbury), he purposed to 
make a circuit of four or five miles around that place, 
and go around through the disaffected settlement. By 
10 o'clock a. m., he heard within six miles of Salisbury 
that the enemy was marching towards Shallow Ford. 
As the original plan was disconcerted by this move- 
ment of the enemy, it was thought inexpedient by this 
officer to return to camp for further orders ; but on his 
own responsibility he decided to take the route of the 
enemy, thinking some opportunity might offer of at- 
tacking him in detail. He evaded the route they had 
taken the first day, but kept parallel to it, about three 
miles to their left, and camped at night near the South 
Yadkin. Starting early on the 6th of February, he 
got on the enemy's trail, but having the South Yadkin 
to pass and several large creeks, he proceeded with 


caution, drawing up the party at each crossing, and 
sending over scouts to explore a quarter of a mile ahead ; 
and not passing a stream until he reported. At dark 
he had passed all the creeks and arrived at a farm, 
within ten miles of Shallow Ford. There he learned 
that the rear of the enemy had passed this place a little 
before sunset, and that the men were much scattered 
on their march, and appeared fatigued. The man of 
the house thought they were upwards of two hours in 
passing, most of the cavalry being in front. Captain 
Graham's party camped at this place for the night, and 
at the first cock-crowing in the morning of the 7th, set 
out, intending to attack the enemy's rear at Shallow 
Ford ; as he thought it scarcely possible that they could 
all have passed the evening before. He proceeded cau- 
tiously, and came within half a mile of the ford by light, 
and moved up to it, but not a human being was to be 
seen. The enemy had all passed over in the night. 
Some of the officers ascending a hill above the ford, 
could see a field in the low ground, where the whole 
British army was just parading. As they watched, the 
front marched off ; soon the whole followed, before sun- 

The American cavalry was mortified at coming so far 
and achieving nothing. It was decided that twenty of 
those best mounted, under command of the Captain, 
should, after divesting themselves of their marks of dis- 
tinction, pass the river. The Lieutenant was ordered to 
draw up the others at the ford, to cover their retreat, if 
pursued, and to place videttes on the roads some dis- 
tance in his rear, lest some parties of Tories might be 
following the Americans. The party went over, saw 


several men whom they did not molest, and who, on 
being questioned, made professions of loyalty to the 
King and showed their protections. After going about 
three miles, the two soldiers who were kept in advance 
about one hundred yards, made signal of seeing the 
enemy. When Captain Graham came up, he saw about 
fifty dragoons, marching slowly in compact order. He 
followed them for two miles unperceived, but finding 
that they kept the same order, it was thought impru- 
dent to go further, as the country that they were in 
was reputed to be favorable to the British. Returning 
about a mile, the Americans discovered three men in 
red coats, who fled, but being directly run down, sur- 
rendered. On proceeding further, they met a Hessian 
and a Briton, who also fled. On being overtaken, the 
Briton surrendered, but the Hessian held his piece at a 
charge and would not give up. He was cut down and 
killed. Before reaching the ford, the Americans took 
two armed Tories, who were following them. Having 
killed one and taken six prisoners, the party re-crossed 
the ford. Those left at that place had become uneasy, 
thinking the party had met some disaster, from the 
length of time it was absent. The whole returned a 
few miles and encamped. The next day the prisoners 
were sent on to the infantry, supposed to be twenty-five 
or thirty miles behind ; and the cavalry moved, for better 
quarters, a few miles into Bryan's settlements — both 
men and horses requiring rest. 



Within three days after this, all the men in arms, 
ahont seven hundred in number, who had been collected 
in the rear of the British army, advanced and encamped 
a few miles to the south of Shallow Ford. The officers 
assembled, and agreed that as there were several colo- 
nels present, to organize into a brigade, and to vest the 
command in Gen. Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina. 
This circumstance has occasioned every professed writer 
of history to represent these troops as South Carolina 
militia, whereas they were simply the brigade of David- 
son, from Mecklenburg and Rowan, the field officers of 
which conferred the command on General Pickens, who 
was with themi asi a refugee, to avoid conflicting claims of 
rank among themselves. There were not forty South Car- 
olinians in the body of seven hundred men. He held the 
rank of Brigadier-General by commission from the Gov- 
ernor of that State, and had with him about forty South 
Carolina and Georgia refugees. He had been a witness 
to the disgraceful affair at Torrence's Tavern on the 1st 
inst., though without a command at that place. Lieu- 
tenant Jackson, who had served in the Georgia Regu- 
lars, and who afterwards served in Congress and was 
Governor of the State of Georgia, distinguished for his 
opposition to the Yazoo Speculations, was appointed 
Brigade Major. The Rev . James Hall, then of Rowan, 
Chaplain. The men serving a regular tour of duty, 
the only foot in the brigade, were placed under the com- 
mand of Colonel Locke, of Rowan, and Maj. John Car- 
ruth, of Lincoln. For convenience in procuring sup- 
plies, the General decided to move on, while a distance 


from the enemy, by detachments. Captain Graham's 
troop was ordered in front to take the road through 
Salem and to Guilford Court-House. After midday, 
Graham's men halted at Salem for dinner and to feed 
their horses. Dinner was promptly and politely fur- 
nished at the tavern by order of Mr. Bagge, the super- 
intendent of the village. About the time the men were 
mounting to move on, Mr. Bagge applied to the com- 
mander for protection against twelve or fifteen men 
under the command of a person called Captain — from 
the hollows of the Yadkin — who had come to the other 
end of the town and begun to plunder. Captain Gra- 
ham immediately went to these marauders and ordered 
them to desist. They disregarded the order, and re- 
monstrated that they had been plundered by Tories and 
had a right to make themselves whole ; and they asserted 
that the Moravians were all Tories, and that as evidence 
of this the British army had marched through and 
taken nothing; therefore they had a right to take, etc. 
Graham's troop was ordered up from the tavern, and 
the plunderers were made to restore what they had 
taken, and move out of the town. 

This was not only a time that tried men's souls, but 
it tried their honesty also, for they found themselves 
freed from legal restraints. In a war, each party avails 
itself of the services of the meanest of mankind (even 
Indians) ; and without regular discipline there will be 
marauding, devastation, and extravagances continually 
committed. And it may be mentioned once for all that 
at this period the best disposed were of opinion that as 
they were in the service of their country, and no regular 
supplies furnished, they had a right to take food from 

hart's mill. 313 

Mend or foe. Others, when they found a man wealthy 
or possessing property which they wished, would accuse 
him of Toryism (sometimes without foundation), as a 
pretext to justify their conduct. Such men were apt to 
become too much encumbered with baggage for the ser- 
vice in which they were engaged. 

3. HART'S 

General Pickens proceeded with his detachments, a 
few miles apart, until he passed Guilford Court-House. 
After that his march was more compact. Learning that 
General Greene had passed Dan River, and that Lord 
Comwallis was in Hillsboro, he left his baggage wagons 
(few in number) with Colonel Locke, who commanded 
the foot, to follow after, and moved cautiously towards 
the enemy. In the afternoon, coming to a mill on 
Stoney Creek, ten miles from Hillsboro, he detached 
Captain Graham with twenty of his cavalry, and Capt. 
Richard Simmons with the same number of mounted 
riflemen, to examine the position of the enemy. The 
General gave special orders "to proceed with caution 
and commit nothing to hazard against a superior force, 
unless compelled, but if meeting an inferior force 
to strike them, and as quick as possible return to him, 
for as soon as an alarm should be given it might be 
expected that the cavalry and light troops of the enemy 
would be at our heels." The two commands set out 
at dark, and before going three miles met two men com- 
ing from Hillsboro, who gave them information of the 
British army at that place, its position and headquar- 


ters, and that a guard of twenty men was at Hart's Mill, 
on the Eno, a mile and a half on this side, which was 
kept grinding for the army. After answering the ques- 
tions put to them, they were for proceeding, but one of 
the men was told that his examiners were Americans, 
and that he must act as their guide. He suffered some 
abuse before he would consent. 

The night was very dark, with occasional showers of 
rain, which became very heavy before day. The party 
moved slowly, stopping during hard showers to endeavor 
to keep their arms dry. At break of day, when within 
half a mile of Hart's Mill, the little force halted until 
the riflemen announced that they could see the sights on 
their guns, then moved on. Having arrived at the fork 
where the road leading from Stoney Creek comes into 
the great road that goes up by Mebane's, a sentinel 
halted the advance and fired. The party filed to the 
right in a thicket between the roads; the riflemen dis- 
mounted and tied their horses. The British sergeant- 
of-the-guard with a file of men came to the support of 
the sentinel and hailed ; as the British could not see the 
Americans, they fired into the thicket, their balls pass- 
ing through the tree tops above the heads of the patriots. 
The commanding officer. Captain Graham, and a few 
cavalrymen made a dash at the enemy, while their guns 
were empty. Captain Graham hoped by the advance to 
get a view of the ground, and the position of the enemy's 
main force. Coming into the great road, he saw the 
sergeant and party running, and the British guard 
drawn up in the open yard in front of the dwelling- 
house to the right of the road. There were two small 
buildings, perhaps a stable and a smith shop, on the 

hart's mill. 315 

game side of the road, within fifty or sixty steps of the 
dwelling, and the ground descended behind them. The 
commanding officer and party returned, and Captain 
Graham then gave Captain Simmons directions to go 
behind the swell in the ground until he got the buildings 
between him and the guard, and then to advance. While 
Simmons was executing this order, the cavalry would 
make a diversion on the left. Captain Simmons led his 
men across the great road to Mebane's, and the cavalry, 
turning to the left, entered, in open order, an old field, 
upwards of two hundred yards from the enemy, and 
galloping across it at right angles to their lines, com- 
pletely attracted their attention and drew their fire 
until Simmons' party reached the small buildings and 
fired from the corners of both at the same instant. Those 
of the enemy who did not fall, fled. The cavalry came 
down at full charge, and by the time the British guard 
had fled one hundred yards beyond the river, their front 
was overtaken, and the whole killed or captured. The 
Americans' prisoners were one lieutenant and sixteen 
privates, regulars, and two Tories. When the riflemen 
fired, the lieutenant ran into the house and shut the 
door, peeped out until he saw Captain Simmons, whom 
he knew to be an officer, then opening the door and step- 
ping out presented him his sword in a polite manner, 
soliciting protection. The British force consisted of 
one lieutenant, one sergeant, .twenty-four privates, regu- 
lars, and two Tories. There were left on the ground, 
killed or wounded, one sergeant and eight privates. 

The cavalry had barely brought back the prisoners to 
the riflemen, when in the direction of Hillsboro a noise 
was heard, like distant thunder. The sound was im- 


mediately recognized as that of horses' feet. Instantly 
the prisoners and part of the cavalry were sent through 
the woods up the Eno. Captain Graham and six troop- 
ers who had the hest horses took their station where the 
road leads off to Stoney Creek, in order to draw the 
enemy's attention in that direction, intending to dis- 
perse if closely pressed. The party with the prisoners 
had just passed out of sight when the enemy came in 
view at a slow gallop. The party with Graham re- 
mained until the enemy's front had crossed the river, 
and then retreated up the Stoney Creek road. When 
the enemy came to the forks of the road, they made no 
halt to look for tracks, but kept on the road that lead to 
Mehane's at great speed. After going a mile, Graham 
and his party moved slowly, keeping a good lookout in 
the rear, and arrived at General Pickens' camp only ten 
or twelve minutes before Captain Simmons with the 
prisoners, who came by another road. When the picket 
discovered Captain Simmons' party approaching with 
red coats among them, they began to fire upon him, with- 
out examination. He halted the party, and rode for- 
ward at some risk to explain ; then they permitted him 
to pass. Fortunately no damage was done. The firing 
produced an alarm, and the whole army was instantly 
drawn up. 

On the arrival of Simmons, General Pickens immed- 
iately marched up Stoney Creek, and in the afternoon 
halted at a farm to forage. While the horses were eat- 
ing, most of the men who had been out with Graham 
and Simmons, and had slept none the night before, had 
tumbled down near their horses to take a nap, when they 
were aroused by the old appalling sound from the rear 

hart's mill. 317 

guard, "Tarleton is coming." The farm was hilly and 
the fences high. The General lined them, with the rifle- 
men, and made gaps at suitable places for flank move- 
ments or retreat. The disposition was nearly com- 
pleted, when the front of the party came in sight. To 
the great joy of all, it was discovered to be Colonel Lee, 
with the American cavalry, just returning from the re- 
treat with General Greene beyond the Dan Eiver. These 
veteran troopers attracted much attention from the 
militia, who, judging them, though inferior in numbers, 
to be far superior in efeectiveness to the British cavalry 
(which some of them had seen in the morning), were 
inspired with a confidence they had not hitherto pos- 

The whole army moved a few miles, and encamped at 
adjacent farms for the night. The next day it was in 
motion, in different directions, nearly the whole day; 
but did not go far, beating down nearer Hillsboro. The 
two corps kept near each other, though they moved and 
camped separately, as they had done the previous after- 
noon. Reconnoitering parties, which were sent out in 
the afternoon and had returned in the night, gave notice 
of a detachment passing from Hillsboro towards the 
ford on Haw Eiver. Pickens and Lee put their forces 
in motion at an early hour, and came into the great road 
eight miles west of Hillsboro, near Mebane's farm. 
The whole of the militia cavalry, seventy in number, 
that had swords, was placed under Captain Graham, 
and in the rear of Lee's horse. Such of Graham's men 
as had not swords, were ordered to join another com- 
pany. They followed the enemy's trail on the road to 
Haw River, with the cavalry in front. For the sue- 


ceeding events, see Lee's Memoirs, first volume, page 
305, and forward. 

During the whole day's march every man expected a 
battle and hard fighting. Men's countenances on such 
occasions indicate something which can be understood 
better than described in words. The countenances of 
the whole militia throughout the day never showed 


Lee states (page 311) that Pyle's men, on seeing the 
militia in the rear of his cavalry, recognized and fired 
on them. The true statement is this : Major Dickson, 
of Lincoln, who commanded the column on our right 
(when the disposition for attack had been made at the 
last farm), had been thrown out of his proper order of 
march by the fences and a branch, and when Pyle's men 
were first seen by the militia, they were thought to be 
the party under Dickson, which they supposed had come 
round the plantation and gotten in the road before them. 
On coming within twenty steps of them. Captain Gra- 
ham discovered the mistake; for he saw that these men 
had on cleaner clothes than Dickson's party, and that 
each man had a strip of red cloth on his hat. Graham, 
riding alongside of Captain Eggleston, who commanded 
the rear of Lee's horse, remarked to him, "That is a com- 
pany of Tories; what is the reason they have their 

Captain Eggleston, addressing a good looking man at 
the end of the line, supposed to be an ofiicer, inquired, 


■*To whom do you belong?" The man promptly an- 
swered, "A friend of his Majesty." Thereupon Captain 
Eggleston struck him over the head. The militia look- 
ing on, and waiting for orders, on this example being 
set, rushed on the Tories like lightning and cut away. 
The noise in the rear attracted the notice of Lee's men, 
and they turned their horses short to the right about, 
and in less than a minute the attack was made along 
the whole line. 

The same page stated that; ninety loyalists were killed. 
The next day our militia counted ninety-three dead, and 
there was the appearance of many more having been car- 
ried off by their friends. There were certainly many 
more wounded. When Lee and Pickens retired, it ap- 
peared as though three hundred might be lying dead. 
Many, perhaps, were only wounded, and lay quiet for 

At the time the action commenced, Lee's dragoons, in 
the open order of march, extended about the same dis- 
tance as Pyle's men, who were in close order, and on 
horse-back. Most of them having come from home on 
that day, were clean, like men who now turn out for 
review. Lee's movement was as if he were going to 
pass them, five or six steps on the left of their line. 
When the alarm was given in the rear, as quickly as his 
men could turn their horses, they were engaged ; and as 
the Tories were over two to one of our actual cavalry, 
by pressing forward they went through their line, leav- 
ing a number behind them. The continual cry by the 
Tories was, "You are killing your own men." "I am a 
friend to his Majesty." "Hurrah for King George!" 
Finding their professions of loyalty and all they could 


say were of no avail, and only the signal for their de- 
struction, twelve or fifteen of those whom Lee's men had 
gone through, and who had thrown down their guns, 
now determining to sell their lives as dearly as possible, 
jumped to their arms and began to fire in every direc- 
tion. Their fierce attack made the cavalry give back a 
little. But as soon as their guns were empty, they were 
charged upon on every side by more than could get at 
them, and cut down in a group together. All the harm 
done by their fire was that a dragoon's horse was shot 
down. Falling very suddenly, and not moving after- 
wards, the rider's leg was caught under him, and by all 
his efforts he could not extricate himself, until the ac- 
tion began to slacken, when two of his comrades dis- 
mounted and rolled the horse off him. Lee's men 
had so recently come to the South, that they did not 
understand the usual marks of distinction between 
Whigs and Tories, and after the first onset, when all 
became mixed, they inquired of each man, before they 
attacked him, to whom he belonged. The enemy readily 
answered — "To the King." To many of their own mili- 
tia they put the same question. Fortunately, no mis- 
takes occurred, though in some instances there was 
great danger of them. ( See Lee's Memoirs, page 307. ) 
Charging up to a farm before this affair, expecting to 
surprise Tarleton, we outrode the legion infantry, and 
some Catawba Indians under Captain Oldham, who did 
not overtake us until the close of the action with Pyle. 
To our discredit, it must be stated, that when the In- 
dians came up, they were suffered to kill seven or eight 
wounded men with spears before they were made to 

pyle's massacre. 321 

At the close of the action, the troops were scattered, 
mixed and completely disorganized. General Pickens 
and Colonel Lee gave repeated orders to form, but the 
confusion was such that their orders were without effect. 
These officers appeared sensible of the delicate situation 
that they were in. If Tarleton, who was only two or 
three miles off, with nearly an equal force, had come 
upon them at this juncture, the result must have been 
disastrous. Lee's men, though under excellent discip- 
line, could with difficulty be gotten in order. The com- 
mandants exhibited great perturbation, until at length 
Lee ordered Major Eudolph to lead off, and his dragoons 
to fall in behind them. Captain Graham received the 
same order as to the militia dragoons ; and by the time 
the line had moved a quarter of a mile, there was the 
same order as when the encounter began. Lee himself, 
while they were forming, stayed in the rear of his own 
corps, and in front of Graham's and ordered one of his 
sergeants to go directly back and get a guide from 
among the Tories and bring him forward without delay. 
The sergeant in a short time returned with a middle-aged 
man, who had received a slight wound on the head, and 
who was bleeding freely. His name was Holt, and he 
lived near that place. The sergeant apologized to his 
Colonel because he could find none who were not 
wounded. Lee asked the prisoner several questions rel- 
ative to the roads, farms, water-courses, etc.; how 
O'Neal's plantation (where Tarleton then was) was 
situated ; whether open woods, hilly or level, etc. After 
answering the several questions, and after an interval 
of about a minute, while Lee appeared to be meditating 
the man addressed him, "Well, God bless your soul, Mr. 



Tarleton, you have this day killed a parcel of as good 
subjects as ever his Majesty had." Lee, who at this 
time was not in the humor for quizzing, interrupted him, 
saying: "You d — d rascal, if you call me Tarleton, I 
will take off your head. I will undeceivp you : we are 
the Americans and not the British. I am Lee of the 
American Legion, and not Tarleton." The poor fellow 
appeared thunderstruck. See Lee's Memoirs (vol. 1, 
page 313 onwai'ds) as to Colonel Preston joining the 
Americans, as to Tarleton's moving in the night, and 
making feints to cross Haw River at the ferries, then 
turning down to Butler's Ford, all well detailed there. 

tarleton's account of the destruction of pyle's 

Lee, in his "Memoirs of the Revolution," states that 
the coats of his men were of a dark green color, and that 
Tarleton's Legion had the same uniform. It can be 
thus be seen why Pyle mistook Lee and Graham for 

It is often asserted that the Regulators were all To- 
ries in the Revolution. Yet history informs us of only 
two Tory commands raised in the Alamance section : 
(1) that of the notorious Fanning, (2) that of Pyle. 
Hillsboro, the headquarters of the Regulators, was cer- 
tainly not that of the Tories. 

The following account is from Tarleton's Campaigns 
1780-'!, page 231 : 

"Notwithstanding the indifference or the terror of the Loyalists 
was visible at Hillsborough, Earl Cornwallis entertained hopes 
of receiving reinforcements from the inhabitants between the 


Haw and Deep Rivers. On the 23rd (February, 1781), Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Tarleton was detached with two hundred cavalry; 
one hundred and fifty men of Colonel Webster's brigade and one 
hundred Yagers to give countenance to the friends of government 
In that district: A Family of the name of Pyle had made prepara- 
tion for an insurrection in that quarter, and had comm'unicated 
tiheir intentions to Earl Cornwallis, who assured them that a 
British force should be sent to give them protection whilst they 
assembled, and at the same time requested them to march to- Hills- 
borough or to Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton's Corps, as soon as they 
had collected. On the 24th, the British detachment passed the 
Haw and dispersed a party of American militia who had united to 
counteract the intentions of the Loyalists. Tarleton was told by 
the prisoners that a Continental force was expected in the neigh- 
borhood, which intelligence induced Mm to send to the Pyles to 
join him without delay. In the course of the day, particular and 
authentic information was obtained of Colonel Lee's cavalry 
having passed Haw River to meet a corps of m'ountaineers under 
Colonel Preston, for the purpose of intimidating or dispersing the 
King's friends. This report made Tarleton repeat the order to the 
Pyles for an instant junction of the numbers already assembled; 
that he might move against either Lee or Preston before they 
united. Spies were sent to gain intelligence of both and some sat- 
isfactory accounts had arrived, when several wounded Loyalists 
entered the British camp and complained to Tarleton of the cruelty 
of his dragoons. Though the accusation was erroneous, their suf- 
ferings were evident, and the cause from whence they proceeded 
was soon afterwards discovered. Colonel Pyle and two hundred 
of his followers, being all equally ignorant of the customs of war, 
had not complied with tihe orders they received, and though fore- 
warned of their danger, thought fit to pay visits to their kindred 
and acquaintances before they repaired to the British camp; 
Inspired by whiskey and the novelty of their situation, they unfor- 
tunately prolonged their excursions, till meeting a detachm'ent of 
dragoons, whom they supposed to be British, they received a 
fierce and unexpected attack in answer to tlieir aimlcable salutation 
of: "God save the King," and many of them experienced inhuman 
barbarity; when discovering their mistake, they supplicated for 
mercy. Patrols were sent out to learn the course the American 
dragoons had taken arfter this event), and assistance was dispatched 
to the wounded Loyalists." — W. A. G. 



While the Americans were following the enemy's trail 
in the night, across from the last road leading to the 
ferry into that leading to the ford, day began to dawn, 
and Lee ordered Graham's cavalry in front, and gave 
orders to go on at a canter until they should overtake 
the enemy, or come to the ford. If they came upon the 
enemy, no matter in what position or numbers they 
might be found, to charge them, and he would be directly 
at their heels to support them. 

The militia cavalry took the road and went on at the 
speed directed, expecting every minute to fall in with 
the rear of the enemy, until they arrived at the ford. 
It was novi' light, though before sunrise. They could 
see troops of cavalry formed fronting the ford, on the 
opposite hill, and thought the British infantry might be 
placed along a mill-race or some small islands to dis- 
pute the passage, which they could easily have done 
until they could have been reinforced from Hillsboro. 
In five minutes Lee arrived, and ordered the militia to 
pass the ford. When they entered the water, the ene- 
my's cavalry wheeled off and took the road. After pass- 
ing the first plantation east of the ford, Lee's cavalry 
again took the front. The report of the women along 
the road was that the enemy had passed about thirty 
minutes before, with their horse at a brisk trot and the 
infantry going as fast as they could move without run- 
ning. Lee's men found blankets, and goat-skins and 
other knapsacks which some of the British had thrown 
away that they might be less encumbered. Continuing 
the pursuit a few miles, the American commanders found 


that Tarleton could not be overtaken until he should be 
within supporting distance of Lord Comwallis, and gave 
up the chase. The Americans then turned off the road 
to the left, and marching some distance up on the east 
side of Haw Kiver, Pickens and Lee separated, going to 
those farms where men and horses could get subsistence, 
which they much needed. They rested the remainder of 
the day and night, keeping patrols out between them and 
Hillsboro. On the day following, about 10 o'clock, a 
countryman gave information that the enemy was on 
the march from Hillsboro towards Haw River. Shortly 
after the patrols came in and confirmed the account. 
General Pickens gave orders to march. By the time the 
troops were under way, some of our men who had been 
out foraging, came in and reported having seen the 
«nemy within three miles. They were off the great road, 
and marching directly to our present encampment. Gen- 
eral Pickens placed a strong rear guard, and moved some 
distance up the country from the enemy. After steering 
in several courses, and keeping in motion until after 
sunset, he encamped near a Mr. Dickey's; the rear 
guard being placed at the ford of the branch near Dick- 
ey's housie, half a mile from the camp. Captain Frank- 
lin* had been sent out with a patrol beyond the guard. 
The road forked at the corner of a fence one hundred 
yards from the house. Maj. Micajah Lewis, of the 
North Carolina Line, who served this campaign as a 
volunteer without a command, and several others went 
beyond the picket to Dickey's house. In the twilight, 
one of this party discovered a body of troops coming by 
the road, on the other side of the fence. They instantly 

♦Jesse Franklin, the present Governor (1820.) 


mounted their horses and rode out and hailed them. 
They halted and answered, "A friend." Being asked 
where they came from, they answered, "From General 
Greene to join General Pickens," and inquired of Major 
Lewis if Captain Franklin had not told them they were 
coming for that purpose. The Major answered in the 
negative. As he well knew Captain Franklin, and that 
he had gone out that way not many minutes before, their 
story inspired confidence, and threw him off his guard. 
He ordered the leading officer to meet him half way and 
give the proper explanation, at the same time moving 
forward until he was nearly half way to them. Not see- 
ing any of them advance, he was about to halt and turn 
his horse, when he was ordered to stand, "or they would 
blow his brains out." As his horse turned, they dis- 
charged a full platoon at him, of twenty or thirty guns, 
broke his thigh, and wounded him badly in several other 
places ; yet notwithstanding he rode past the guard and. 
into the camp a full half mile. He was taken off in a 
blanket, carried by four men, to an adjoining farm, 
where he died the next day — his loss much regretted. It 
could never be explained how the enemy, or any person 
with them, knew Captain Franklin, or that it was he 
who led out the patrol a few minutes before. If they 
had not referred to him, Major Lewis would have been 
more cautious. Major Lewis' grave is yet recognized on 
Dickey's plantation in Alamance County. 

On the alarm, Pickens' men were instantly paraded; 
and all was quiet and steady. When Major Lewis and 
party arrived in camp, it was fully dark. The enemy 
advanced and began a desultory fire with the guard at 


the ford of the branch. Greneral Pickens ordered his 
troops to retire, not knowing what numbers or kind of 
troops were coming against him, and not having suffi- 
cient number of edged weapons to risk a night encoun- 
ter. The fires were left burning, and a small party in 
sight of them, saw the enemy advance in line up to them 
in about thirty minutes after Pickens retired. They had 
waited to deploy after they left the ford of the branch 
where our guard had been stationed. From there they 
had marched in line, as dark as it was. General Pick- 
ens marched on until after midnight, when, crossing a 
small creek, and leaving a rear guard some distance be- 
yond it, he encamped a second time. The night being 
cold, fires were kindled, and those who had it were dress- 
ing their food, when the rear guard was again attacked, 
and the men paraded. Finding the guard pressed and 
retiring into camp. General Pickens ordered a march, 
receded about three miles farther, and turned out of 
the road into the woods. The chickens were crowing, 
and he halted until day. No fires were allowed to be 
kindled, though it was very cold. After light, a patrol 
was sent back to the last encampment, who ascertained 
that the enemy had returned towards Hillsboro from 
that place, appearing from their trail to have been 
mostly infantry. General Pickens then marched back 
by that camp, and turned higher up the country, far- 
ther from the enemy's present position. 

The last three days had exhibited a specimen of the 
vicissitudes of war. Nearly half the time our men had 
been in high spirit in full pursuit of the British, had 
destroyed Pyle and party, and Tarleton had barely 
escaped us. The other half of the time, the British were 


in eager pursuit of the Americans, who were now in low 
spirits, and suffering by cold, hunger and want of rest ; 
but had lost only Major Lewis. 

(General Pickens had with him only between 600 and 
700 men, and but about one-tenth of these were equipped 
to act as dragoons. The remainder might be called 
mounted infantry, though variously armed — mostly, 
however, with rifles. The late risks he had run of being 
nearly surprised, caused him to be more cautious in his 
movements and encampments. His rule was to have his 
men formed and moving by 10 o'clock in the morning, to 
halt once or twice during the day for feeding, to move 
slowly and in different directions. Sometimes he was 
within ten or fifteen miles of the enemy, at other times 
in the north of Orange, or on the headwaters of Hyco 
and County-line Creek. Whatever course he might be 
going, at sunset he never failed to turn nearly at right 
angles to it, either to the right or the left, for two or 
three miles before he halted for the night. He never 
camped two nights in succession within some miles of 
the same place, and some days did not march more 
than eight or ten miles in all. By these movements it 
was impossible for the enemy, by any preconcerted plan, 
to strike at him with a detachment ; for before they could 
arrive at the place where their information directed, he 
would be elsewhere. Thus he ran no risk of being 
obliged to fight against his will, unless he should meet 
them by accident, which was hardly probable. In this 
manner he manceuvered for eight or ten days. Lee's 
corps was higher up, and had not been with Pickens 
since they separated on the Haw River road, when they 
left off the pursuit of Tarleton. 



While Pickens and Lee were manceuvering as already 
related, Lord Cornwallis moved from Hillsboro beyond 
Haw River and Alamance, on the road towards Salis- 
bury; and on the 27th of February, Colonel Otho Wil- 
liams (of Maryland), who succeeded General Morgan 
(when he retired) in command of the light troops and 
cavalry of the army which General Greene had sent on 
before him, arrived at High Rock Ford on Haw River. 
Colonels Washington, Lee, and the militia under Pick- 
ens, joined him there on the next day, and having crossed 
the river, advanced by different routes nearer the enemy. 
In the evening these troops took up separate encamp- 
ments, two or three miles north of Alamance. General 
Pickens ordered Graham's cavalry to cross the creek and 
ascertain the enemy's position, and, if opportunity of- 
fered, to strike some of their small parties. Graham 
had just ascended the hill beyond Alamance when he 
met Colonel Washington and corps. It was nearly dark, 
and the Colonel advised that it was not safe to proceed 
any farther, for, said he, "there is a skygale ahead yon- 
der," pointing to the light of the enemy's encampment, 
which appeared as if the woods were on fire. The orders 
not being peremptory, Graham returned with Washing- 
ton, which General Pickens approved. Early next morn- 
ing. Colonel Lee called at General Pickens' quarters, and 
after some consultation they came through the camp, 
calling for volunteer cavalry to go with Lee. Soon 
more proffered than were required. Forty were taken, 
and Captains Graham and Simmons to command them 
Following Lee, he led them over the Alamance a short 


distance, where they overtook a like number of Colonel 
Preston's riflemen, and the whole of Lee's cavalry under 
Major Rudolph, and some Catawba Indians. The cav- 
alry and riflemen were divided, and twenty of each placed 
one hundred yards on the right of the road under Cap- 
tain Simmons; the same number at the same distance 
on the left under Captain Graham. These officers were 
instructed that the cavalry and riflemen should protect 
each other alternately when meeting the enemy, if cir- 
cumstances should require it. Six Catawba Indians and 
four of Lee's troopers kept the road, thirty poles in 
front of Major Rudolph. Graham and Simmons were 
instructed to keep an equal front, with the Indians, one 
hundred yards from the road. Major Dickson, of Lin- 
coln, led two hundred mounted infantry in the rear of 
Simmons. They preserved an equal front with Major 
Rudolph, who kept the road. About the time the dispo- 
sition was completed, we heard the British drums and 
fifes playing distinctly, upwards of two miles of. At 
first we thought they were on the march, but officers 
used to service, hearing them beat the "short troop," 
announced that it was only beating off their new guards 
from the morning parade to relieve the old. Two of 
Lee's troopers now came in haste through the woods, 
having a British prisoner, whom they had picked up 
about their guard that morning, and carried him to their 
Colonel, who examined him and sent him on to the rear. 
Captain Oldham's Regulars and Captain Kirkwood's 
Delawares now came in view, up the road behind Major 
Rudolph. Lee himself took position fifty steps in front 
of Rudolph, and one hundred behind the Indians. All 
being arranged, the party moved forward slowly. In 


going upwards of a mile, we came to a farm, the road 
leading through a lane ; at the end of this lane a branch 
crossed the road at right angles, near which and parallel 
to it ran the fences on each side. The field on the right 
was narrow, and Simmons led his party around it ; that 
on the left was wide, and Graham ordered his riflemen 
to make gaps and pass through. Opposite the middle 
of the lane there was another fence which divided the 
field; making another gap for a passage, Graham de- 
scended through the second field, and crossing a ravine 
and coming up past a house, the riflemen laid down a 
pair of bars on the way from the house to a double barn, 
through which they passed. In front of the bam was 
a thick piece of coppice wood, thirty or forty poles wide, 
extending across the road to Clapp's plantation. On 
entering this wood, all was silent and no person to be 
seen. As soon as the plantation was passed, one of the 
Indians snorted like a deer, whereupon he and his com- 
rades ran forward a few steps to the first timber, and 
fired. The riflemen under Graham and Simmons being 
in front, could see the enemy drawn up in position, and 
began to fire. The columns marching under Major 
Dickson and Colonel Preston instantly dismounted, tied 
their horses at the fence, and advanced in line. Major 
Rudolph put Lee's dragoons in order behind the double 
bam. While these arrangements were making, the In- 
dians! and riflemen kept up a desultory flre in front. As 
the American lines advanced, Graham and Simmons 
caused their men to oblique to the flanks, out of the way. 
The woods were so thick the foe could not be seen until 
they came within sixty or seventy steps of him, when a 
heavy fire commenced on both sides. The Indians, who 


had hitherto been on the alert, could not stand it, but 
turned and ran off, like turkeys, half-bent. It had hith- 
erto been the boast of the Indians how they would man- 
age the enemy if they could get him in the woods, yet 
here was demonstration to the contrary. When the fire 
opened from the enemy's line, which was very heavy, the 
saplings and bushes were so thick that the bark and 
twigs were continually flying and hitting the men on 
their cheeks and shoulders and kept them dodging, to 
the neglect of their duty of firing and loading as fast as 
they might have done. After firing about three rounds 
( the enemy still in his first position ) the Americans be- 
came panic-struck, evidently from the bark and twigs 
falling around them, and the whole line turned nearly 
at the same time, without orders, and retreated. Lee 
was conspicuous himself, among the militia, but to no 
purpose. Eudolph, who led the Legion cavalry through 
the lane, retired at a brisk trot. Lee, who retired 
through the field, ordered Graham to mind the gap in 
the middle fence, himself going to Kirkwood and Old- 
ham beyond the branch. Graham wheeled his cavalry 
at the gap, fronting the enemy, ordering his riflemen to 
move on. The main part of the enemy's cavalry were 
passing the lane in the rear of Rudolph, who retired sul- 
lenly, never mending his pace, but keeping in compact 
order, while their front was within thirty steps of his 
rear. Another party of British, about fifty in number, 
coming through the field, when they saw Graham's party 
front them at the middle fence, kept back, until they 
discovered their front in the lane, behind Rudolph, was 
passing where the middle fence joined it ; they then ad- 
vanced, and Graham retreated and passed the branch. 


opposite to the end of the lane about the same time with 
the Legion cavalry. The enemy being now on the low 
ground, Kirkwood's and Oldham's infantry, who were 
drawn up on the rise about eighty yards in front, 
opened a fire on them over the heads of our retreating 
troops, which caused their cavalry to recede a little 
until their infantry arrived. Col. Otho Williams and 
Lee then ordered the militia to form on an alignment on 
each flank of the Regulars — Williams' superintending 
that on the left, and Lee arranging Preston's men on the 
right. The enemy's infantry was forming in advance of 
the middle fence and firing at long shot ; and though at 
a great distance, their balls kept constantly whizzing 
among our troops. Colonels Williams and Lee used 
great exertions to form the militia, but as they got some 
to fall in, and exerted themselves to rally others', the 
first would move off again. Major Dickson, of Lincoln, 
who with his characteristic coolness and decision saw 
the difficulty, observed to Colonel Williams, "You may 
depend upon it, you wdl never get these men to form 
here while the enemy are firing yonder. If you will 
direct them to form on the next rise beyond that hollow, 
one hundred yards back, they will do it." Colonel Wil- 
liams instantly adopted this plan. Our line was thus 
restored. The Regulars retired to their place in it, and 
the firing ceased, though the enemy was still in view. 
In about twenty minutes, we marched off in order, and 
they did not follow. In a mile or two we came to the 
ford on Alamance, where the whole light troops, Wash- 
ington's cavalry and all the militia belonging to the 
army except what were with General Greene were drawn 
np in position. The eminences and passes were lined 


with the latter. This arrangement Colonel Williams, 
their commander, had made before he came on to battle. 
After remaining half an hour, the whole marched back 
five or six miles, when the diiSerent corps separated. 
Pickens and Lee camped together. 

Early next morning after the battle of Clapp's Mill, 
the whole of the militia officers belonging to Pickens and 
Preston were convened by Colonels Williams and Lee, 
who proposed to them to consult their men, and ascer- 
tain if it would be agreeable to send every third man 
home with their horses. Being mounted, they were of 
great service by the celerity of their movements, yet 
being encumbered with their horses, when a change of 
positions during action was necessary, it could not be 
made. Their first thought, when they moved from 
Avhere they were engaged, was to get their horses, and so 
the men could not be brought into action a second time, 
which was unfavorable for the stubborn contests we 
might expect to engage in from this time. The officers 
suggested that half their number organized as infantry 
Avould be of more service to the cause than all of them as 
they were. The militia officers gave it as their unani- 
mous opinion that their men would not consent to their 
horses being sent home. 

The next day, the 2d March, some affairs took place, 
though of themselves trivial, yet from the result, and 
the great advantage to the American cause, they are 
thought worthy to be detailed minutely. 

About 10 o'clock, General Pickens and Colonel Lee 
came to Captain Graham and gave him the following 
orders : "You will take about twenty of your men, and 
go down the road to where the battle was fought yester- 

CLAPP'g MILL. 335 

day, and see if the enemy are there ; if they are gone, yon 
will take their trail and follow, until you find out where 
they are, giving no credit to any information you may 
receive from the inhabitants; but go on until you actu- 
ally see the British, which, when you ascertain, you will 
immediately send or bring us word. We shall be found 
at a plantation two or three miles to the right of this, 
to which we will move this afternoon. After you have 
executed this order, if it appears anything can be done 
without running too much risk, you are at liberty to do 
it. But send an account of where the enemy is first. 
This young German (a man at hand) is well acquainted 
with the country and will pilot you." In a half hour 
the party was ready, and set out, arriving at the battle- 
ground, and the plantation being open, Graham left 
half his force behind, to support if pursued, while the 
other half explored, and found that the enemy was gone, 
A signal being given, the others came fom^ard and 
joined us. Our dead were on the ground, eight in num- 
ber, two of whom were Graham's men. We saw a large 
grave where the enemy had buried their dead, in which 
Mr. Clapp stated he had seen them put sixteen, besides 
an officer whom they carried off to bury at headquarters. 
The exact number of wounded on each side was un- 
known. Of this company there were : John Ford, of 
Charlotte, and David Johnston, killed. Slightly 
wounded : Samuel Martin, Gov. Alex. Martin's brother ; 
John (Jack) Barnett, yet living in Mecklenburg. Rob- 
ert Harris, Esq., of Rocky River, badly wounded; be- 
sides some bad cuts on his head, his right hand was cut 
off; died about twelve years ago. John Stinson, now 
living near Charlotte, and Joseph Mitchell, since dead, 


taken prisoners in consequence of leaving their party 
and turning off to the left on the retreat. 

After making some arrangements with Clapp about 
burying our dead, Graham's party moved on the enemy's 
trail, which led into the great road from Salisbury to 
Hillsboro, nigh to where a Mr. Low lived. While some 
halted on the road, others rode up to the house and 
enquired if any party had gone up the road that day. 
On being answered in the negative, they returned. Two 
Dutchmen now came along, going to the British with 
loaves of bread, a crock of butter, and a runlet of 
brandy, which they had promised to an officer the day 
preceding. They and their stores were taken in custody, 
and the party proceeded down the great road on the ene- 
my's trail. Two men going as scouts, one hundred yards 
in advance, halted and made a signal. The officer went 
forward, and saw a sentinel on his post on the side of 
the road two hundred yards distant beckoning to some 
one to come to him. At the same time another sentinel 
was seen one hundred yards to the left of the road in 
the woods. This was about a half mile above Hawkins' 
plantation, where the British headquarters then were. 
The party turned up the road, took through the woods 
and along by-paths until they went a short distance 
from the battle-ground, into the woods. It was getting 
dark, and they halted and partook of the stores they 
had taken with the Dutchmen. The officer had to use 
great caution in the distribution of the brandy, remind- 
ing his men if they went back upon the enemy, much 
depended on their being in proper condition. What of 
the stores were not consumed were distributed among 
the party, and the second in command was sent on with 


the prisoners and intelligence to Pickens and Lee. It 
was now fully dark, the commanding officer, pilot and 
thirteen others turned back. Their first move was to a 
plantation, somewhat to the left of the way and within 
three-fourths of a mile of Hawkins', where the enemy 
was. This place being so near, we expected to come 
upon some stragglers outside of their guards, but found 
no one but the old German proprietor and his wife, and 
one of our wounded men, Robert Harris, Esq. Attempt- 
ing to move him, we found that as soon as he was raised 
he fainted. iWe therefore gave him in charge to the 
old Dutchman, with orders to treat him well and he 
should be well rewarded, but if otherwise they should 
suffer, for he was a man of high standing. They prom- 
ised, and he afterwards said they did everything they 
could for him. The party moved from the plantation 
into the woods, and, upon consultation, agreed to at- 
tempt to take the sentinel they had seen one hundred 
yards from the road, belonging to the main guard. The 
pilot, who knew every spot about there, and who had 
gotten a full proportion of the store of brandy, was 
ready to act any part assigned him. He led off in that 
direction, moving slowly and cautiously, but the sentinel 
was vigilant, and hailed, and would not suffer them to 
approach him. Attempting to fire, his gun flashed, 
when the whole party made a dash at him, but owing to 
the darkness of the night and the bushes, could not find 
him. They instantly turned towards the sentinel on 
the great road, who hailed and fired and ran towards 
the guard before they came nigh him. The party went 
up the road at a canter for two or three hundred yards, 
and then began to move slowly. They soon discovered 


by the sound of horses' feet and the blackness of the 
road that another party was meeting them. We hailed 
them in a loud and confident tone, and were answered, 
"A friend." It was inquired instantly in the same tone, 
"A friend to whom?" Answer in a rather low tone, "To 
King George." The word was scarcely pronounced when 
six of those in front fired, and orders were given, "Rush 
on, rush on; skiver the buggers!" At the same time, 
those who had fired were moving to the side of the road, 
out of the way, as had been concerted, so that the re- 
mainder could fire in the enemy's face, and then all 
take to the woods. But it was discovered that the 
enemy were retiring, and the party rushed on after them. 
As they were passed, they turned out of the road to the 
left, and their commander, a sergeant, being drawn off 
his horse by the limbs of a tree, was discovered and 
taken prisoner. The others made their escape, and 
were heard blundering through the woods in great haste. 
After the pursuit was over, the pilot took a right-hand 
path which led out of the great road, and after going 
several miles, stopped at a bam and got some forage. 
The command then went into the woods and fed the 
horses and partook of the balance of the bread, butter 
and brandy which had been taken from the Dutchmen. 
About midnight we heard considerable firing about two 
miles off, on the Salisbury road, above Low's farm, prob- 
ably upwards of three miles from Hawkins', the British 
headquarters. The history of this firing, as was learned 
from the captured sergeant, and from a deserter after- 
wards, was this. About sunset the officer of the day, 
stating that some Americans had been viewing the 


guard, ordered out a patrol of a sergeant and sixteen 
cavalry, to keep up the great road above the plantation 
and return in pursuance of these orders. The sergeant 
had made no discovery, until he returned within a quar- 
ter of a mile of the picket, where he met Graham's party, 
was himself taken, and the others being dispersed, came 
straggling into camp separately. The whole army was 
alarmed, and under arms. A large body — upwards of 
one hundred horses were sent out. Finding all quiet, 
they went the Salisbury road beyond Low's Mill, where 
they met a company of seventy or eighty Tories, coming 
to join them, off Deep River and the eastern part of 
Rowan, who, being afraid of falling in with the Ameri- 
cans, were marching in the night. The British had 
been so teased by Graham's party, that on hailing they 
waited for no reply, but charged them immediately. It 
was said that the Tories, having heard of Pyle's disaster, 
were afraid to confess to which party they belonged. 
Four were killed and twenty or thirty badly cut. They 
made hardly any resistance. A third of them escaped 
and went home. The dragoons, being confident it was 
Americans, had nearly glutted their vengeance before 
they were sensible of their mistake. When some pris- 
onersi were taken, an explanation took place, but the 
Tories were so dispersed that not more than half of 
them could be collected. In the case of Pyle's men, 
they were cut up by the Americans, and thought it was 
the British ; in this case they were cut up by the British, 
and thought it was the Americans. These miscarriages 
so completely broke the spirit of the loyalists in those 
parts that no party was known afterwards to attempt to 
join the British in these or the adjoining counties. The 


above accounted for the firing heard by Graham's party 
after midnight, which was repeatedly explained after- 
wards as above. 

Graham's party having finished their repast and the 
balance of the brandy, moved on to General Pickens' 
camp, where they arrived at sunrise ; the party that left 
them at dark with the prisoners and intelligence had 
gotten in about midnight. 

Spirits are dangerous to tamper with in an army, and 
frequently do injury, but they were believed to be of 
great service on this occasion. The men were some- 
what excited, though not to such a degree as to render 
them inert or disorderly. On meeting a superior foe in 
the dark, just by the lines of his main army, and show- 
ing a bold front, the enemy became appalled and fled. 
On stopping to forage in the woods, some of the party 
asked the sergeant why he did not fight, as he had three 
more than their number. He replied that not above 
half of his men had pistols, and knowing his party to 
be small, and believing that his opponents from their 
firing and conduct were numerous, he was induced to 
retreat. He belonged to what was called the 16th troop, 
which had come on with General Leslie the preceding 
fall. They wore scarlet coats and caps covered with 
white sheepskin. 


On the day of the battle at Clapp's Mill, the term of 
service of the militia commanded by Captain Graham 
and other officers under General Pickens had expired, 
but nothing was said about it until the 3d of ilarch. 

whitsell's mill. 341 

When made known to General Pickens, he requested the 
officers to nse their influence to induce their men to stay 
a few days longer, for he thought in that time there 
might be a general engagement, and that our militia, 
who had been so well tried, might be the means of giving 
General Greene the advantage. 

With such severe duty, the horses of Graham's com- 
mand were much reduced, and the company had lost 
nine men of those who had entered the service with the 
Captain. Some companies all went home, and it being 
deemed unsafe to travel singly through the Tory settle- 
ments east of the Yadkin, arrangements were made that 
an officer should conduct each squad of those returning. 
Twenty-four of Graham's company and a few others 
agreed to stay a few days in expectation of a general 
battle. Pickens, Lee, Williams and Washington kept 
up their game of checkers — moving in the district of 
country between the Alamance, Haw River and Reedy 
Fork, continually changing their quarters, and appear- 
ing to act separately, but yet; connected in their plans. 
Lord Comwallis could not get intelligence of their posi- 
tion, so as to come at them. General Greene, after his 
return from Virginia, a little behind them, kept manoeu- 
vering in the same manner. It was the best way of sup- 
plying the army, to march where supplies were to be 
had, as the means of transportation from a distance, in 
the existing state of incertitude, was difficult and hazard- 
ous, besides the doubtfulness of where the army might be 
when they should arrive. The British General discov- 
ered that if the present system was continued, it must 
prove ruinous to him. After the late events which had 
befallen the Tories, he could not expect his army to 


increase, but rather diminish ; and he well knew his ad- 
versary would be reinforced from the North. Not hav- 
ing a knowledge of any of the country but the district 
which he occupied, and ignorant of the position of the 
quarters of all the American corpsi, he adopted the most 
eligible plan of annoyance by making a rapid and to 
them unexpected march. If they had any place of con- 
centration, he would thus separate them, and pushing 
them beyond it, make them fight in detail, or perhaps 
overtake Williams, or perhaps General Green himself. 
He was sure there could be no hazard at any point ; for 
the Americans, taken unawares, could not bring their 
united forces to bear upon him. With these views, on 
the 6th or 7th of March, in the night, he broke up his 
camp at Hawkins' and passed the Alamance shortly after 
daylight on a cloudy morning. His van was discovered 
by a patrol of Washington's cavalry, who immediately 
sent on notice, first to Colonel Clark, who was nearest,, 
and then to the other corpsi in succession. All were 
soon in motion, each pushing into the road to gain the 
British front, which some did with difficulty. The Brit- 
ish advanced with such celerity that some small parties, 
who endeavored to reach their front, fell on their flanks. 
A scattering fire was continually kept up, either on the 
flanks or in front ; as their rule was, whenever they saw 
their adversaries, to fire at them, without halting, and 
press on in as compact order as such rapid movements 
would admit. Williams, Pickens, Clark, Preston, Lee 
and Washington were all moving in their front, at the 
same gait, not more than one-fourth of a mUe between 
them. Colonel Tarleton and corps were within one hun- 
dred yards of the front of their infantry, and though so 

whitsell's mill. 343 

many opportunities offered for attacking scattering par- 
ties of militia coming in on the flanks, he never at- 
tempted to charge or pursue them. The appearance of 
Washington and Lee before him, must have prevented 
him from improving such advantages as frequently 
offered in the course of the day. Washington and Lee 
superintended the rear alternately in person, but noth- 
ing could be done, for on the first sight of any force 
within his reach in front, the enemy, without halting, 
fired a platoon and kept steadily forward. It appeared 
to be the object of the British commanders, O'Hara and 
Webster, to bring the Americans to a fight or disperse 
them. Lord Cornwallis and the remainder of his army 
were marching behind at their leisure. But the whole 
of the militia of his army and cavalry were sent on with 
these officers — supposed to be about sixteen hundred in 

The pursuit continued in this manner for ten miles. 
When we came within a short distance of Whitsell's Mill 
on the Reedy Pork of Haw River, Colonel Williams gal- 
loped ahead in haste and selected a position for battle. 
In sight of the mill he first stationed two companies of 
riflemen, behind trees, one on each side of the road. 
Thirty polesi behind these, as the ground began to turn, 
he formed a line of militia facing the enemy. About 
three hundred and fifty of his Continental infantry 
passed the ford, and a part of Preston's and Clark's mili- 
tia, and formed fronting it on the opposite side. Wash- 
ington's cavalry and Graham's reduced squad of militia 
dragoons, one hundred yards on the right and rather in 
the rear of Williams' line. Lee's dragoons at the same 
distance on the left under Rudolph. Lee himself at- 


tended to Preston's militia. As the enemy approached, 
the two companies of riflemen began to fire. The enemy 
halted, the first time they had done so in twelve miles, 
and immediately began to deploy. In their rapid march, 
their rear was thrown far back, and it took them some 
time to form. Our dispositions were all made ten or 
twelve minutes before theirs, and during the whole of 
that time the two rifie companies in front, and some of 
their light troops, kept up a scattering fire at long shot. 
When their arrangements were completed, their line 
began to advance slowly. The day was still cloudy, a 
light rain falling at times ; the air was calm and dense. 
The riflemen kept up a severe fire, retreating from tree 
to tree to the flanks of our second line. When the 
enemy approached this, a brisk fire commenced on both 
sides. Prom the state of the atmosphere, they became 
enveloped in smoke; the fire had lasted but a short time, 
when the militia were seen running down the hill from 
under the smoke. The ford was crowded, many passing 
the watercourse at other places. Some, it was said, were 
drowned. The next object presented was the British 
pushing forward from under the smoke in disorder. 
Upon which the Kegulars under Colonel Williams and 
the militia under him on the north side of the water be- 
gan a brisk fire over the heads of the retreating militia, 
which caused the advancing foe to halt and repair his 
line, which was done in a short time. The fire of Wil- 
liams' Regulars, their front about thirty poles long, was, 
while it continued, equal to anything that had been seen 
in the war, for they were under excellent disciplina 
When the enemy had repaired his disorder, his line was 
more than double the length of Williams'. Their front 

whitsell's mill. 345 

and those on their flanks beginning to pour in a cross- 
fire upon him, and the retreating militia having crossed 
the water and mostly ascended the hill, after his men 
had fired five or six rounds, they wheeled by sections in 
a trot and in as good order as men in field evolutions. 
The British continued their fire until Williams' troops 
had moved up the road one hundred yards, and then 
began to slack. A column of the enemy's infantrj^, 
which had not been brought into line, came on to the 
ford, and Tarleton with his cavalry came through. On 
the rise of the hill, he sounded his bugle. As soon as 
it was heard. Colonel Washington, yet in his position 
on the right, about forty poles from Tarleton, sounded 
his bugle also, and Major Rudolph, at the head of Lee's 
corps on the left sounded his. Upon this, Washington's 
and Lee's cavalry went off at a canter, meeting each 
other in the road, about twenty poles in Tarleton's front. 
As they met, they wheeled up the road in a gallop 
(though in good order), after Colonel Williams. Tarle- 
ton was halted on the hillside, and suffered them to pass 
without moving. The infantry on the opposite hill kept 
firing until they were out of view. When Washington 
and Rudolph came to Williams' rear, they turned out of 
the road, about sixty steps on each side, along his flanks. 
His men were marching briskly, and the cavalry of&cers 
gave orders that if the infantry was charged by the 
enemy in the rear they should wheel and take him in 
each flank. Washington himself and eight of his troop- 
ers took the rear. At such parts of the road as a view 
could be had, two of them were stationed, who, on 
seeing the front of the enemy, galloped up and reported, 
passing others who were stationed in the same manner. 


Tarleton advanced slowly and cautiously for about a 
mile from the field of battle (a column of infantry fol- 
lowing), and then returned. The whole way from the 
battle, three or four miles, the broken militia were com- 
ing in on each flank, sometimes in squads of twenty or 
thirty, sometimes singly. They were much dissatisfied 
with the place that had been assigned them by the Con- 
tinental officers, not allowing them, as they stated, an 
equal chance with the Regulars ; having had to cross the 
Reedy Fork under the whole fire of the enemy in order 
of battle. It might be stated in defence of the officers 
that they were really so situated that it became neces- 
sary to risk the sacrifice of one part of their command to 
save the rest, and though the life of one man is as dear to 
him as that of another, yet the loss to the cause of three 
or four of militiamen whose term of service would ex- 
pire in a week or two was not as great as the loss of one 
regular, who was well trained, and engaged to serve 
during the war. But this was a kind of logic they were 
unwilling to admit. When it was discovered that the 
enemy were going back, Lee's cavalry fell in the rear of 
the militia, who were collecting fast, and following Wil- 
liams; Lee himself taking much pains to convince the 
militia officers of the necessity there was for making the 
arrangements adopted for the battle. Washington's 
cavalry turned into the road in front. Colonel Wil- 
liams ordered Captain Graham to move on before, with 
half a dozen of his men, and overtake General Greene. 
He stated that he had not time to write, but directed him 
"to inform the General of the dispositions made at the 
mill and the result of the battle." "You may tell him 
but two of our Regulars are killed and three wounded, 


and from the best I can learn, not more than twenty or 
twenty-five of the militia. You move with Colonel Wash- 
ington. Say that the militia, though scattered at first 
are generally collected, and joined us again; that the 
last seen of the enemy was about a mile on this side of 
the battle-field. He was then returning. But chiefly I 
wish the General to send me word whether it is his will 
that I file off to the right at a place he mentioned. Tell 
him I shall keep along this road until I receive orders." 

The party proceeded, and in travelling three or four 
miles overtook the army with General Greene on the 
march. The General himself was near the rear, in much 
solicitude. He had heard the firing and was anxious to 
know the result. After hearing the relation, he asked 
many questions, and then ordered one of his aids to 
bring the map, dismounted, and he and the aid got 
astride of a log and spread the map, each hand holding 
a corner. After examination, it was decided that Colo- 
nel Williams' cavalry and all the light troops should 
file off at the place proposed, which led to Carthey's 
Bridge, on Troublesome Creek, which they crossed about 
midnight and encamped. General Greene continued 
his march by the direct road to Troublesome Iron Works, 
some distance above Colonel Williams. He got there 
about dark, and continued at this place until he moved 
on to the battle at Guilford Court-House. 

Captain Graham and such of his men as continued in 
service for the purpose of being at the general engage- 
ment expected to take place, had got separated on the 
day of battle at Whitsell's Mills. The day following 
they came together at the Iron Works, stayed there three 
days until the 10th of March, ten days longer than their 


term of service, and then returned home, for from ap- 
pearances, according to their view, a general engage- 
ment might not take place for several weeks. 

For succeeding transactions, see the histories of 
Marshall, Ramsey and Gordon, and Lee's Memoirs. 

The first months of the year 1781 were not very cold 
for the season, but the weather was cloudy and wet. 
After the 6th of February there were no heavy rains to 
raise the waters much; while it was yet so frequent as 
to keep the earth completely saturated and the roads 
bad. The militia which assembled in the rear of Lord 
Cornwallis on his march towards Dan River, were chiefly 
from the west of the Yadkin, the counties of Rowan and 
Mecklenburg. They placed themselves under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Pickens, of South Carolina. 
Being generally mounted as cavalry or infantry, they 
left their homes without much preparation, were with- 
out tents and nearly every other kind of camp equip- 
age, and without regular supplies of provisions or for- 
age. Among them, commissaries or quartermasters had 
no duties to perform. Each man had a blanket or great 
coat or coverlid which he brought from home, a pair of 
saddle-bags, in one end of which he carried a change of 
clothes, and in the other his provisions (when he had 
any), and a wallet in which to carry provender for his 
horse. This, with his saddle, bridle and arms of what- 
ever description they might be, constituted the whole orf 
his equipage. When his wallet and saddle-bags were 
replenished, he was ready to move with celerity any 
distance in any direction. When they became empty, 
by moving he had an opportunity of filling them, which 
all considered they had a right to do at the house of 


friend or foe. It was furnished cheerfully by one party 
when in their power, it was taken from the other with- 
out asking their consent. This system afforded the 
men of dishonest propensities an opportunity of taking 
many things which necessity did not require. 

It was acknowledged by all in service that from Tarle- 
ton's defeat until the battle of Guilford there was not 
a more active campaign in the whole war, and it is, 
evident from the foregoing facts, that six or seven hun- 
dred of the North Carolina militia under the command of 
Gen. Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina, had their full 
share and more of the dangers to be encountered, and 
privations to be endured (which they did without a mur- 
mur of complaint, except as to the position in which 
some of them had been placed at Whitsell's Mills), and, 
it may be further stated, without expectation of pay; 
for at that time the state of our currency was such that 
a month's pay would not purchase a half pint of whis- 
key. There is one circumstance which ought not to be 
forgotten, that notwithstanding the wet and inclement 
season, and that, as has been observed, the men were 
without shelter, were frequently wet, sometimes sleeping 
in wet clothes, marched whole nights without sleep, 
were irregularly supplied with provisions, sometimes 
bordering on starvation, and when provisions were ob- 
tained these often badly prepared, yet, under all these 
difficulties and hardships, it has since been often re- 
marked that there wasi not a single case of indisposition 
or sickness among the militia during the whole cam- 
paign. As it is generally believed there is no effect 
without an adequate cause, it is submitted to the consid- 
eration of medical gentlemen whether the state of mind 


and excitement produced thereby did not operate as a 
stimulant and have a large share in producing such a 
degree of health as is above stated. It is well known 
that in common the same number of men when furnished 
with the best camp equipage and provisions, especi- 
ally when lately from their homes, are subject to many 
diseases, even when only required to perform ordinary 
camp duty. 




1. Generai, Thomas Polk succeeds Gbnerai< Davidson as 


2. General Sumxer raises Troops in Jy-iecklenburg and 

Rowan Counties eor South Carolina Regiments. 

3. General Ruthereord's Campaign on the Cape Fear. 

4. Final Orders. 

The military forces which retreated from the different 
fords on the Catawba River, after the death of General 
Davidson, concentrated at Harris' Mill, on Rocky River, 
on the 3d of February; and being deprived of the com- 
mander of the district, the officers met and drew up an 
address to General Greene, recommending that Col. 
Thomas Polk, of Mecklenburg, should be appointed his 
successor. It was committed to the care of the Rev. Dr. 
J. Hall, who had no opportunity of presenting it until 
near the last of February. General Greene accordingly 
forwarded an appointment to Colonel Polk as Brigadier- 
General in the place of General Davidson, deceased, 
until the Legislature should make a constitutional ap- 
pointment. Shortly after General Polk received his 
conunission, the news was received of the battle of Guil- 
ford; and an opinion prevailed that the British would 
retrace their steps by the way of Salisbury and Char- 
lotte, so as to keep up a communication, and act in con- 
cert with Lord Rawdon, who occupied Camden. If such 
was their plan, it was probable the seat of war might 


be somewhere between the Yadkin and Camden. As the 
citizens of that section of the country had already ex- 
perienced the distresses incident to such a state, they 
appeared determined to try to keep the enemy at a dis- 
tance; and General Polk ordered out the next contin- 
gent division of militia liable for duty, and forwarded 
it on to Salisbury, with a view of fortifying the fords 
and passes on the Yadkin River, but before he reached 
Salisbury, intelligence was received that the British 
were on the march from Ramsey's Mill to Fayetteville. 
He therefore dismissed his men and returned. 

The requisition made by General Polk fell far short 
of the complement intended, owing to the prevalence of 
small-pox. When the British army was in Charlotte 
the preceding fall, it had brought this disease with it; 
and whether by accident or design, could not be ascer- 
tained, it spread from them through the western coun- 
ties, and the greater part of the people who had not 
taken it in the natural way were under inoculation in 
the months of March and April; so that if the enemy 
had returned the country could have made but a feeble 
resistance. This was the second time that that malig- 
nant disease had prevailed in the west since the first set- 
tlement of the country. 

Shortly after the battle of Guilford, Governor Rut- 
ledge, of South Carolina, who had been invested with 
full powers by the Legislature of that State, authorized 
General Sumter to raise a brigade of State troops for the 
term of ten months, each man to find his own clothing, 
horse, arms and equipments, but to be found in forage 
and rations by the public and receive a grown negro for 
his pay. Col. William Polk, Wade Hampton, William 


Hill and Middleton, commanded. The greater 

parts of the regiments of Polk, Hampton and Hill were 
raised in the then counties of Mecklenburg and Eowan, 
between the Yadkin and Catawba.* Many of these men 
might be considered as seasoned to camp life from the 
service they had seen. They were accustomed to endure 
hardships and privations, and encounter dangers. How 
well they acted their part in the summer of 1780, until 
after the battle of Eutaw, is recorded in the history of 
the war within the State of South Carolina. They sus- 
tained considerable loss of both officers and men in that 
action in the autumn ; but suffered much more from the 
climate in that low country. Many of them never re- 

In the most sanguinary wars there is generally a 
greater waste of the human species by the diseases inci- 
dent to military life, especially in a sickly climate, than 
by the enemy. This, however, is seldom taken into view, 
either by the men themselves when they enter service, or 
the government that raises them. Yet the monthly re- 
turns in the army will at all times prove it. 

A part of the plan of the British General,, when he 
entered North Carolina, was to send on a detachment by 
sea to the port of Wilmington. Some armed vessels 
and transports, under Major Craig, and three or four 
hundred troops, took possession of that place without 
opposition early in the winter, fortifying the town by 
several redoubts and lines of communication, and per- 
forating loop-holes in a brick church which stood in 
their range, the whole being streng-thened by rows of 

*See Act of Assembly of 1781, exempting those Counties from levies for conti- 
nental line whicli had furnished men for General Sumter 



abattis, in some places double. They placed a guard on 
the opposite side of the river, in a brick house which 
they fortified by abattis, and barricaded the doors and 
windows, for the purpose of covering the ferry and keep- 
ing open the communication with the southwest side of 
the river. A majority of the population between Cape 
Fear and Pee Dee rivers were disaffected. Those in 
South Carolina were already organized, under a Major 
Gainey, with whom General Marion had frequent con- 
tests and difficulties. Those in North Carolina, on the 
landing of Major Ctaig at Wilmington, flocked to him in 
great numbers; and he, only a Major himself, commis- 
sioned a host of field officers in the counties between 
those two rivers ; and had them organized as militia, and 
furnished with ammunition and many of them with 
arms. By the summer the British authority prevailed 
generally, so high as the narrows of the Yadkin and 
Bell's Mill on Deep River. The exertions of Colonels 
T. Brown and Owen, of Bladen, and Lillis, of Robeson, 
and other active Whigs, were unavailing — the majority 
against them was so great. Another circumstance had 
considerable influence with the timid and wavering. On 
the arrival of Major Craig, the merchants shipped con- 
siderable supplies of salt, sugar and other necessaries 
of which the country was becoming destitute ; the article 
of salt had rated at from eight to ten dollars per bushel, 
or was bartered for a good cow and calf or four-year-old 
steer. Other articles of necessity were at proportionate 
prices. The prospect of getting a plentiful supply on 
leasonable terms induced many to go to Wilmington who 
otherwise would have been for the country. Such Whigs 


as were active or had used efforts to suppress the rising 
of the Tories, had to fly from that district; others were 
taken prisoners and carried to Wilmington and put on 
board a prison ship, where they endured great hard- 

After Lord Cornwallis had marched from Wilmington 
to the northward, and General Greene had moved near 
Camden, the few good Whigs who lived in Montgomery 
and Anson counties, returned to their homes about the 
beginning of May; after which frequent small contests 
took place between them and the Tories. Colonels Wade 
of Anson, Childs of Montgomery, and Crawford of Rich- 
mond counties, headed the Whigs; Colonels Fanning, 
Elrod and McNeil the Tories. The counties between 
Drowning Creek and Pee Dee were traversed by the 
scouts of both parties. A system of plunder and cruelty 
was practised by the Tories under Fanning, which soon 
produced a spirit of retaliation on the part of the Whigs, 
and devastation marked the track of both parties as they 
passed the dwellings of their adversaries. Several 
skirmishes took place in the months of July and August, 
in which the Tories, commanded by Fanning, obtained 
advantage over the Whigs, who were commonly ordered 
out for a two-weeks' tour of duty. In August, the 
whole force that could be raised in the aforesaid coun- 
ties was ordered out, and met the Tories at Beattie's 
Bridge, on Drowning Creek, where they had a battle, 
for the particulars of which I refer to the written ac- 
count of the Rev. Jonathan Jackson, who was a captain 
and got wounded.* The Whigs were defeated. Mr. 
Jackson, though a prisoner, would not tell the loss of 

*See note at close of chapter. 


the Tories. He saw but two dead and several wounded. 
The same party, after a day or two for refreshment and 
some reinforcements, moved on to Hillsboro, captured 
Governor Burke, etc., and fought a battle at Lindley's 

About the last of April, General Green had settled a 
cartel with the British General for the exchange of pris- 
oners, in pursuance of which General Rutherford and 
several other officers who had been captured at Gates' de- 
feat and sent to St. Augustine, where they endured great 
hardships, were now exchanged and returned home. In 
the month of August the General again took command of 
the militia in Salisbury district (since Salisbury and 
Morgan). He soon had information of the progress the 
Tories were making between Pee Dee and Cape Fear, 
and an application from the officers: commanding on 
the frontiers in that quarter for assistance. He ordered 
the next detachment liable for duty to rendezvous on 
Little River, in Montgomery County, by the 15th of 
September, and advised the citizens to volunteer as cav- 
alry, beside those who were drafted as infantry. There 
assembled at the plantation of a Mr. Robinson about 
the time and shortly after the period appointed, about 
nine hundred and fifty infantry, and near two hundred 
cavalry, seventy of whom were equipped as dragoons, in 
two troops, under the command of Captain Simmons, of 
Rowan, and Captain Graham, of Mecklenburg. Robert 
Smith, of Mecklenburg, who had served as a captain in 
the Regulars until the regiments in the North Carolina 
line were reduced, was appointed Major and vested with 
the command of the whole cavalry. It was near the 
1st of October before arrangements could be completed 

Mcfall's mills. 357 

for moving forward towards the enemy. In the mean- 
time the officers, several having done duty with Davie, 
then with Washington and Lee, were diligent in discip- 
lining their men, especially the cavalry. The enemy, as 
we learned afterwards, had their spies present, who 
reported to them from time to time; which made an 
impression in favor of the Whigs. Scouts were sent out, 
but the enemy kept retired behind Drowning Creek, and 
no parties came in contact. The army marched about 
the 1st of October, by slow movements; took the road 
towards Fayetteville. The cavalry scoured the country 
for some distance to the right; arrived high on Drown- 
ing Creek (Monroe bridge) ; stayed a few days in that 
neighborhood; were joined by Captain Gillespie, from 
Guilford, with a troop of dragoons, which increased that 
description of troops to one hundred, and several com- 
panies of mounted infantry. The whole cavalry was 
upwards of three hundred. Major Smith was appointed 
Colonel Commandant of all the cavalry, and Captain 
Graham, Major, and his Lieutenant, Charles Polk, Cap- 
tain of the Mecklenburg troop. The whole force of 
•every description might be fourteen hundred — three hun- 
dred and fifty horse and one thousand and fifty foot. 
After crossing Drowning Creek a few miles, the army 
turned to the right, aiming to keep between the heads of 
the waters which run into Waccamaw on the right and 
Eock Fish and Cape Fear on the left. The order of 
march was. Major Graham with the dragoons and one 
troop of mounted infantry in front ; next General Ruth- 
erford's infantry; then the baggage train; in the rear. 
Colonel Smith's mounted infantry. The roads were so 
bad that the line of march was much extended. 


Moving in the foregoing order near Rock Fish Creek, 
on the 15th of October, 1781, the advance dragoons, six- 
teen in number, discovered before them forty Tories, 
who, under a Colonel McNeil, had been sent out to 
reconnoitre. Our advance did not hesitate a moment, 
but charged them ; they fled. On being closely pressed, 
they dispersed and took to the swamps and escaped. 
The General came to the front, wished the dragoons to 
follow their trail, as it would lead to their main camp; 
but that was impossible, as they had dispersed. He 
then ordered the whole cavalry in front to take the trail 
by which McNeil's party had come, as he must have 
been sent from their camp. Colonel Owen, of Bladen, 
with about thirty-five mounted men, joined us, making 
the cavalry in front about one hundred and fifty. We 
took the back track of McNeil's party, which, after sev- 
eral windings, led towards McFall's Mill on Raft 
Swamp, and captured an old man, who stated the Tories 
had left their camp at that place in the morning. In his 
opinion, there were six hundred men, commanded by 
four colonels — Elrod, Bay, McNeil and McDougal ; that 
Fanning was not with them ; he had been wounded in a 
battle with General Butler; was lying out. When we 
came in sight of that place, smoke like that of a camp 
appeared, and we made dispositions for attack. The 
front troop advanced, but the enemy, all except two men, 
had gone. These we captured; one of them was just 
from Wilmington. He had British arms and uniform, 
and in attempting to escape had received a wound on 
the head. Their information was that the enemy had 
marched upwards of half an hour; that on the arrival 
of McNeil's party, coming scattering into camp, many 


ran into the swamp and could scarcely be induced to 
return. Graham's party took their trail; kept on at a 
common travel, and in three or four miles discovered 
their rear, and at the same instant was discovered by 
them. The pilot stated there was no swamp nigher than 
a quarter of a mile of them; they were on horse-back, 
and appeared to be making a disposition for resistance. 
The Whigs were halted for the rear to close up, and 
dispositions made for attack; Simmons' troop in front 
in line, xhe other two troops in column behind their 
centre. The mounted infantry, on the flanks', moved on. 
Simmons was instructed, if it appeared like serious 
resistance, to wheel down the flanks to our rear; if not, 
to charge them. In moving towards them, at a trot, at 
the distance of thirty or forty poles, they began to fire 
some over their shoulders, when facing from us. The 
Whigs raised a shout, and the front troop charged into 
them at full speed. The column came after at a brisk 
gallop, as fast as they could preserve order, and the 
mounted infantry fell in the rear. The enemy broke and 
fled as fast as they could; but the stout horses and ex- 
pert riders of the west soon overtook them; and when 
they came in contact with the sand-hill ponies, went 
through, trod down, and turned over horses and riders. 
After their first fire, the enemy thought of no further 
resistance, but endeavored to make their escape, and 
aimed for a branch of the Raft Swamp in their front, 
over which there was a causeway two hundred yards 
wide. Our troops entered the causeway with them, 
using the sabre against all they could reach. As soon 
as it was felt, the Tories would throw themselves off on 
each side into the ditch, quitting their horses and mak- 


ing off in the swamp; the dragoons near the front fired 
their pistols at them in their retreat. By the time the 
Whigs got half way through, the causeway was crowded 
with dismounted ponies for twenty steps before them, 
so that it was impossible for them to pass. Two or three 
stout men dismounted, and commenced pushing them 
over into the ditch, out of the way. When it was a little 
cleared, the dragoons rushed over ; the front troop, now 
scattered, pursued the Tories in all directions. The 
front of the second troop, on passing the causeway one 
hundred yards, was halted, that the rear might pass the 
defile and close up. By the time two-thirds were over, a 
fire began about one hundred poles' in front. The officer 
leading the enemy's van had availed himself of the time 
lost in crossing the causeway, and had formed about 
one hundred and fifty men near the corner of a field, and 
on the approach of the scattering troops pursuing, began 
to fire on them. As soon as this was heard, our mala 
body moved on, coming within two hundred yards of tlie 
enemy. They gave a general fire, and their guns being 
empty, was the signal for the dragoons to charge them 
at full speed. They fled, and in half a mile entered a 
causeway which leads across the main Raft Swamp 
Our front entered it with them, and here again the same 
scene was acted as at the last causeway. As soon as 
one of our men would reach forward and strike a Tory 
with the point of the sabre, the rider would tumble into 
the ditch and make off through the mud, leaving his 
horse in the way ; the pistols in front were fired at them 
as before. The causeway was long, and some breaches 
in it increased the difficulty of reaching them. The 
mounted infantry, with Colonel Owen, was ordered to 


dismount and come forward; but our cavalry and the 
Tory ponies swarming in the broken causeway, so im- 
peded their advance that it was getting too dark to siee 
to shoot by the time they reached the front. As the 
•enemy were much scattered and completely beaten, it 
was thought inexpedient to pursue the victory farther. 
The men were collected by the sound of the trumpet at 
the west side of the swamp, and marched back to where 
General Rutherford had encamped, near McFall's Mill, 
where they arrived about 10 o'clock at night. No dam- 
age was sustained on our part, only two swords (which 
were formed by blacksmiths) were broken. The enemy 
had sixteen killed and it is believed about fifty wounded, 
most of them slightly, as they uniformly, on receiving 
one cut with a sword, jumped into the swamp out of the 
reach of a second. This first contest with the Tories 
completely broke their spirit; they never afterwards 
offered resistance in force, until near Wilmington, where 
they expected support from the British. On the other 
hand, our cavalry held them in such contempt that the 
common troopers could hardly be induced to use the nec- 
essary precautions for safety. 

On the next day, 16th of October, the army marching 
a few miles down the Raft Swamp, on the east side, was 
about to take up camp at two adjoining plantations, the 
cavalry at that farthest down. It appeared they could 
obtain but a scanty supply of forage, and another plan- 
tation appeared in view below. Some of Captain Gil- 
lespie's troops (from Guilford) got leave to go there for 
a supply. On entering the enclosure, before they got to 
the house, ten or a dozen guns were fired at them out of 
a potato patch. A respectable young man, a Mr. Mc- 


Adoo, was killed; his companions fell back. The cav- 
alrymen, who had not unsaddled their horses, instantly 
mounted and led off to where the firing was ; meeting on 
the way some of those who had been fired on, and went 
up briskly to the plantation ; Major Graham and Captain 
Simmons in front. When they had arrived near where 
McAdoo lay, the same number of guns were discharged 
at their front, and the Tories immediately ran into the 
swamp, which was within fifty steps. Their fire did no 
injury, except to wound Captain Simmons' horse in two 
places, which caused him to plunge and fall and throw 
the rider. The mounted infantry in the rear of the cav- 
alry were ordered to dismount and pursue into the 
swamp, which they did near a quarter of a mile, but 
did not overtake them. 

Early next morning, General Eutherford had the field 
officers convened at his quarters, and explained his views 
to them; that an attempt must be made to rout the 
Tories out of their swamps and hiding .places ; otherwise 
they would be troublesome to us, as General Marion had 
been to the British in the like situation, and that we 
should try driving the Raft Swamp on that day. In 
pursuance of these orders, the greater part of the infan- 
try were marched across the causeway over the swamp, 
where it was near half a mile wide; were distributed 
four or five steps apart, the cavalry equally divided to 
keep down the margin of the swamp on each side, a little 
in advance of the infantry, each man instructed to en- 
deavor to preserve the same relative position with his 
comrades as when we entered the swamp. When the 
whole were arranged in their position as above, and had 
divested themselves of part of their clothing for the pur- 


pose, they left the causeway together. In a mile or 
two they found two families, no men with them; the 
women said their husbands were gone to Wilmington. 
In going near three miles down, a considerable noise 
was heard near the middle of the swamp. It was eight 
or ten steers alarmed at their approach. The men near- 
est thought it was a party of Tories endeavoring to 
escape, the bushes and briars being so thick they could 
not see them, though they were near, began to fire at 
them. The steers took nearly to the west, along the 
front of their line, and a scattered fire was kept up 
until they came to the edge of the swamp, when the 
cavalry took them in charge. When arrived on the 
sand hills they soon became gentler, and were driven to 
camp. In about three miles the men were worn down, 
torn with bamboos and other briars; many had waded 
up to their middle in mud. By pressing forward to- 
wards the firing at the steers, their order of movement 
was broken, and they began to move out of the swamp 
on each side. When collected, they were marched back 
to camp without capturing a single Tory. However, it 
was afterwards understood to have answered a good 
purpose. The news soon spread through the whole hos- 
tile districts that Rutherford's men were driving the 
swamps, and it is believed but few of the Tories took 
shelter in them afterwards. 

The army continued to move slowly down the Raft 
Swamp; from thence to Brown Marsh, where General 
Butler had had a battle with the British and Tories some 
weeks before, and encamped for several days near that 

Alexander Martin, who was Speaker of the Senate 


when Governor Burke was captured by the Tories at 
Hillsboro, as soon as he had notice of that event, in 
pursuance of the Constitution in such case, took on him- 
self the duties of Governor of North Carolina ; and hav- 
ing assembled a life-guard of twenty-four militia cav- 
alry, he and suit arrived at General Eutherford's camp. 
There, on the next day, he issued a very flattering ad- 
dress to the army, in which he noticed the officers who 
commanded when the Tories were defeated at Eaft 
Swamp, near McPalFs Mill, advising perseverance, as 
agreeably to the news received from different quarters, 
the enemy would shortly be cooped up in the seaport 

Within a day or two after the preceding events. His 
Excellency, the Governor, and suit moved up the coun- 
try; and General Rutherford divided his forcfe: the le- 
gionary corps, commanded by Col. Robert Smith, con- 
sisting of about one hundred dragoons and two hundred 
mounted infantry, he considered sufficient to keep in awe 
the Tories, and cut off supplies going to the British on 
the southwest side of the Cape Fear River. With this 
main force, and only one troop of mounted infantry, he 
marched over Cape Fear at Waddell's Ferry, intending 
to invest Wilmington on the north side, if practicable; 
at any rate to cut off the enemy's supplies from the 
country and keep under the disaffected. In pursuance 
of this plan, the army marched from Brown Marsh on 
the 23d of October, about noon. The orders of Colonel 
Smith were to march in the night, and proceed on until 
opposite Wilmington. 

The next day about dusk in the evening he took two 
Tories direct from that place, who gave intelligence that 


when they set out the British were drawn np and boats 
preparing to transport them over the river, to march in 
the night and attack Gen. Rutherford, who was known to 
be encamped at Brown Marsh, as they had done General 
Butler, with some success, several weeks before. Their 
reports separately corresponded in such a manner that 
they were believed to be correct. A council of officers 
was called, and it was decided, notwithstanding, to pur- 
sue the general order, and continue the march in the 
night. Though the men had sufficient confidence in 
themselves, and held the Tories in contempt, and would 
run any risk against them, yet all knew the British regu- 
lars were a foe to be respected, and a new order of 
march was directed. Captain Polk's Mecklenburg troop 
of dragoons. Captain Bethel's troop of Guilford mounted 
infantry, and Captain Kennedy's from Burke County, 
were placed under the command of Major Graham, with 
orders to march two or three hundred yards in front of 
the main body; and a select party of twelve dragoons 
was placed fifty yards in front of them, with orders, on 
meeting any part of the enemy, except in swamp or un- 
favorable ground, to charge them, regardless of number. 
By this means they expected to find them. If Tories, 
there was no doubt they would fly; if ascertained to be 
British, Colonel Smith would, at favorable places, plant 
supporting parties, and a retreat could easily be effected 
without loss, until daylight. Two confidential troopers 
with the advance examined the margin of all swamps 
and suspected places before the troops were allowed to 
approach them. Hence the march was slow. At 9 o'clock 
we took another man direct from Wilmington. His ac- 
count corresiponded with the former. He had seen 


troops in a boat. Continued the march ; expected every 
minute to meet the British, on their way to attack Gen- 
eral Rutherford; arrived within two miles of the ferry 
opposite Wilmington by light in the morning; discov- 
ered some persons advancing before us; a company of 
mounted infantry was marched out of the road about 
thirty steps on each side; the dragoons behind, out of 
the road likewise. But the commanding officer appeared 
to them in the road, opposite the rear of the mounted 
infantry. It was only four Tories. They approached 
the commanding officer with confidence, until they dis- 
covered to what party he belonged, when they began to 
bring down their guns; but on being hailed by the 
mounted infantry on each flank, threw down their guns 
and surrendered. They stated that some British had 
passed the ferry the day before, but returned in the 
evening ; all but the garrison of fifty in the brick house, 
half a mile ahead. The prisoners were sent back to 
Colonel Smith, and the party marching thirty or forty 
steps on the right of the road and parallel to it, came 
silently within three hundred yards of the house about 
sunrise. Two of the regulars came out without arms to 
collect fire-wood. Two dragoons were sent around to 
get between them and the house; took them without 
creating an alarm ; learned from them and the last pris- 
oners taken, that about one hundred Tories were en- 
camped at Moore's plantation, about a mile below, under 
command of a Colonel Graham, related to General Wad- 
dell. Colonel Smith came forward and decided that 
the three troops in front should go on and attack them 
while the main force would be drawn up in position be- 
fore the brick house. 


The party with Major Graham moved on silently until 
they came in sight of smoke and heard the sound of 
horses' heels' etc., when the infantry dismounted and 
formed. Captain Kennedy's Burke men, thirty steps 
on the right ; Captain Bethel's Guilford troop, the same 
distance on the left; Captain Polk's Mecklenburg dra- 
goons on the road about eighty yards in the rear. The 
commanding officer in the road opposite the rear of the 
infantry moved slowly and silently, till nearly in sight 
of the Tories' camp, when their commander. Colonel 
Graham, came riding, meeting us, going to the brick 
house, apparently unconcerned, until he came within 
sixty yards of the front of the infantry, when discover- 
ing our character, he wheeled his horse and went back 
in great haste. With much difficulty the infantry were 
restrained from firing at him. They were ordered to 
move on briskly after him. On entering his camp, there 
was great confusion in trying to form. A causeway 
being opposite the house, and an enclosure of some low 
grounds, the infantry came up at a trot and deployed 
along a fence, about one hundred and forty yards from 
the enemy, and resting their guns on the fence fired as 
they came into place. The enemy were not completely 
formed, though they began a scattering fire on us. When 
our fire commenced, they began to break, and it was dis- 
covered that none were attempting to avail themselves of 
the defence or shelter of the buildings. The dragoons 
were ordered to charge them, which was done at full 
speed. The enemy fled in all directions as they were 
pressed by the cavalry. Most of them turned to the left 
in a salt marsh. Here, as at Raft Swamp, many of them 
got but one slight cut with the sabre, quit their horses, 


and escaped; but several were shot with pistols in the 
marsh. Colonel Graham and two other officers were 
pursued half a mile ; but being mounted on fleet horses, 
and having taken a good start, they escaped. The en- 
emy had twelve killed, and it was supposed about thirty 
wounded. On the part of the Whigs, neither man nor 
horse was hurt. After collecting the arms, horses and 
spoils of the enemy's camp, the command returned to the 
main force before the brick house. They stated that 
the first the enemy knew of our being in the neighbor- 
hood was when the firing commenced at Moore's planta- 
tion, and that instantly the whole of the drums beat to 
arms in Wilmington. We reconnoitered the house, 
found it was protected with abattis, and doors and win- 
dows barricaded with timber, and discovered troops were 
passing through the island and over the ferry, which the 
house was so situated as to command. Colonel Smith, 
seeing no farther advantage to be obtained without too 
great a risk, ordered a march back the same route by 
which he came, until above Livingston Creek, where he 
kept guards on the routes to Wilmington, both by land 
and water. 

When on the return march, the surgeon of the cav- 
alry. Dr. Nelson — said to be eminent in his profession 
(since removed to Georgia), of an eccentric character, 
who' had been along with us at Raft Swamp and again 
this morning, had a pack-horse with lint, bandages and 
some medicine, led by a soldier — came riding by Major 
Graham and some other officers, addressed him appa- 
rently with some chagrin : "I find it is not worth while 
to have a doctor where you fight, for they have nothing 
to do — might as well go home," passed on, pack-horse 


and all, and did go home; though at the time it was 
thought nothing more than a compliment until it was 
known he had gone. 

The men were offended that they had not heen led to 
storm the brick house; it was the constant subject of 
conversation AA-ith the lower grades of officers and men. 
No remonstrances respecting the risk could satisfy them, 
and as an evidence of the state of discipline, and the 
force of public opinion, the officers were compelled, con- 
trary to their better judgment, to gratify them. After 
two days rest, they were led to the brick house early in 
the morning, were drawn up in position in full view, out 
of gunshot, and a flag sent in by Captain Kennedy ( since 
General Kennedy of Kentucky), of Burke, summoning 
them to surrender in ten minutes. The flag was hailed 
at seventy steps, and a soldier without arms sent for the 
summons ; when the officer read it, he answered verbally 
to Captain Kennedy, "I disregard your orders; I don't 
surrender." When Kennedy returned, the infantry ad- 
vanced under cover of some timber and the bank of the 
river on the left and commenced firing. It was re- 
turned from the garrison and continued for half an hour 
or upwards. Not much damage was done on either side, 
as the enemy under cover found that the best point from 
which to annoy the Americans wasi from the windows of 
the upper story. On sending up some of the Yagers for 
the purpose, a Hessian was shot through the knee; and 
from said story they shot a Gray, who lived in the forks 
of the Yadkin, through the flesh of the thigh, which 
was thought lightly of at flrst, but when brought to the 
doctor, the main artery was found cut, and he bled to 



death. In less than hour the men were withdrawn and 
marched off. Several had their clothes perforated with 
the balls of the Yagers, but no other damage. A single 
field piece would have been more efficient than anything 
we could do, but of that we were destitute. We retired 
to the former position on the northwest of Cape Fear 
River, from whence an officer was sent with a detailed 
account to General Rutherford. By this time Ruther- 
ford had reached the Great Bridges, over the northwest 
branch of Cape Fear River, ten or twelve miles north 
of Wilmington, across which a part of his troops and a 
detachment of British had a skirmish, in which he had 
one man killed ( McLean, of Lincoln ) . It was not known 
what damage the enemy sustained. On return of the 
officer to Colonel Smith's quarters, Rutherford wrote 
that he had been informed by deserters that since the 
town had been hemmed in, the enemy had dispatched 
several barges and some troops — British and Tories — 
down the river, as we supposed, to Fort Johnson, Lock- 
wood's Folly, or Shallot River, for the purpose of get- 
ting supplies, of which the action of our troops had de- 
prived them through the usual channels ; and he ordered 
Colonel Smith to send a detachment around in that 
direction to prevent this, if possible, or route such par- 
ties of Tories as might be found embodied. Major Gra- 
ham was ordered on this service with Polk's dragoons. 
Captain Caruther's mounted troop from Mecklenburg, 
Captain Smith's mounted troop from Surry, and part 
of Captain Sapp's mounted troop from Rowan, under 
Lieutenant Monroe. In the whole, ninety men took the 
road down the river. The bridge on Town Creek being 
destroyed, we had to make a considerable circuit. At 


Brunswick, we saw a small craft at a distance, but 
could not ascertain her character; were informed that 
the barges which came down the river had passed 
through the new inlet at Fort Johnson. All was silent ; 
no enemy was to be seen on land or water. The party 
took the route by Lockwood's Polly and Shallot River. 
Several Tories we met, and who fled, were taken after 
receiving a cut or two with the dragoons' sabres; we 
continued across the Newcomb River, and encamped at 
a place called Seven Creeks, not far from the South 
Carolina line. It had rained in the day, and was cold ; 
the night was cloudy, and sometimes it was dropping. 
Prom some old houses the men had taken clapboards to 
make a kind of tent for shelter. The commanding offi- 
cer assisted the officer of the day in placing the guard. 
Colonel Gainey, who commanded the Tories in South 
Carolina, between the Waccamaw, Pee Dee and Drown- 
ing Creek, and who was at this time under a truce with 
General Marion, by some means or other had had notice 
of a party of the North Carolina Whigs being so near his 
district, and had collected about eighty of his adherents, 
and about 11 o'clock at night passed silently and undis- 
covered along a ravine, between where the sentries were 
not more than sixty yards apart, and placed his men 
within fifty steps o£ our camp. A single gun was first 
fired, which made an alarm, but before the men had time 
to rise, a full volley was discharged on the camp. 

In the tent of boards, under which Captain Caruth- 
ers and six men lay, it appeared next morning ten balls 
had gone through, none more than five feet high; but 
when the fire came, his men had not got on their feet, and 
only one was wounded. A young Dutchman of Lieu- 


tenant Monroe's command, was lying with his head on a 
flat pumpkin for a pillow; two balls went through his 
pumpkin, but escaped him. The horses of the cavalry 
were scared — nearly one-third broke; the men began to 
rally about thirty steps in the rear of their tent. Those 
of the dragoons who got their horses, mounted without 
saddles. About twenty formed ; but the point of a fence 
was between them and the enemy. They were ordered 
to oblique tO' the left from behind the fence. The move- 
ment made some noise. The enemy by this time had 
loaded their pieces and discharged another volley at 
them. While their guns were empty was deemed a fa- 
vorable opportunity, and the dragoons were ordered to 
charge, which they did rapidly and with a shout. Gain- 
ej's men fled and dodged behind the trees — only one was 
discovered and cut down. In so dark a night they 
easily made their escape. The infantry had formed, and 
came on after the cavalry for two hundred yards. The 
enemy were much scattered, and were heard endeavor- 
ing to collect in a swamp to which they mostly fled, 
about a quarter of a mile off. The Whigs were called 
back into a field near their camp to lie on their arms 
until daylight. A detachment was then sent on the en- 
emy's trail four miles, but they had passed on into South 
Carolina. We had one man killed — Lieutenant Clark — 
and three others wounded ; four horses were killed, two 
of which were shot down under the dragoons when they 
charged, and several horses wounded. Only one of the 
enemy was killed. After buiying the soldier and fixing 
the wounded for travelling, the party marched up to the 
White Marsh and encamped at Marsh Castle. It was 
believed Colonel Gainey might get reinforced and make 


another attack at this place. Considerable defences 
were made with fence rails, in such a manner that if the 
enemy had come, he would have been under a cross fire in 
all directions. Gaps were made in the enclosure for 
the cavalry to move whenever wanted. 

On the next day marched by Waccamaw Lake and 
joined Colonel Smith above Livingston Creek. On the 
succeeding day, heard considerable firing of small arms 
in the direction where General Eutherford lay. In the 
evening, Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, of the United States 
Legion, arrived. He had come by way of General Ruth- 
erford's camp from the American headquarters at York- 
town, in Virginia, and brought intelligence that Lord 
Cornwallis and the British army were captured on the 
19th of October; and that General Eutherford, on receiv- 
ing the news, had drawn np his army and fired a ''feu de 
joie," which was the firing we had heard. Colonel Lee 
moved on to the south to join General Greene, and in 
the evening several gentlemen from Wilmington came 
to us and informed us the British were about evacua- 
ting that place. On the next day we moved down to 
Shaw's plantation, within four miles of the town ; heard 
that the whole of the British troops were on board, and 
the vessels falling down the river. Two boats were pro- 
cured and manned, and we went down the river from 
Shaw's to town. The enemy's vessels were in sight, 
lying near the place called the Flats. On the wind ris- 
ing, they soon moved out of sight. General Eutherford 
and part of his troops had arrived an hour before, and 
took up headquarters at Mr. Hill's, the only active Whig, 
and who had suffered more by the enemy than any per- 
son then in town. Guards were placed out, an officer of 


police appointed, and to such of the inhabitants as ap- 
plied, officers or respectable privates were sent to quarter 
with them as safeguards. What public stores were left 
by the enemy, were taken possession of. By the second 
day it was reported that the enemy had left the coast, and 
all was tranquil in the town. The wagons which hauled 
for General Rutherford's troops were ordered down 
from the bridge over the North East Eiver, and loaded 
with salt left by the British. To make out loads for the 
whole, some salt was taken from the disaffected, and 
hauled on to the west. When the army returned home, 
as they arrived at the place of being mustered out of ser- 
vice, it was distributed, one bushel to each man who had 
served the campaign, which afforded a seasonable supply 
of that scarce article, and was of more real value to the 
men than the Auditor's certificate they received some 
months after for their services. After the month of No- 
vember, 1781, the militia of North Carolina were not 
called on for any further service. 

The following orders are the last that I have found 
issued on this campaign : 

To Major Joseph Oraham: 

Sis: — You are hereby authorized and directed to take command 
of the whole of the dragoons and mounted infantry of Col. Smith's 
Corps who were on the leftward of the Northwest River. You 
are itlhen to join Col. Leonard and take such a route as will tend 
to most effectually disperse and finally subdue such Tories and dis- 
affected people as continue enJbodied in the settlements bordering 
on this State and adjoining to South Carolina and you are to con- 
tinue in this service as long as may appear to you necessary for 
accomplishing this purpose. Then to march your command home, 
not suffering them to disperse until you may have crossed the 
Great Pee Dee; then regularly discharge your troops. 

(Signed) Griffith Rutherford, B. G. M. 

Wilmington, Nov. 10, 1781 


Camp Marsh Castle, Nov. 21, 1781. 
Orders. Ofllcer of the day tomorrow Capt. Cummins. Guard to 
consist of 1st Lt., one Sergeant and twelve privates. Every person 
in camp to imanediately enroll with Capt. Calruth, Cummins or 
with. Lit. Baldwin: Those who have heen ofiBcers during the cam- 
paign to be called on as such; troops to hold themselves in readi- 
ness to march precisely at six o'clock in the morning. And it is 
required that the most profound silence and greatest order is ob- 
served on the march through the whole of this route. 
N. B. Returns *o be made by five o'clock this evening. 

(Signed) Joseph Geaham, 
Maj. Commanding. 

Camp Emoey's Beidge, Nov. 22, 1781. 
Orders. Officer of the day tomorrow Capt. Calruth, troops to be 
on the alarmi post at five and march at six. Lt. Baldwin with his 
troops to continue at the bridge until the other troops have passed 
the swamp, then return such route as he may think best. 

(Signed) Jos. Geaham, Major. 

Camp Me. Baenes' Plantation Ashpole, Nov. 23, 1781. 

(Orders. Officer of the day tomorrow Capt. Cumtains. Guard to 
consist of ten privates, officer and sergeant: Troops to march at 
six o'clock in the morning. Guard 200 paces in rear, two Guards- 
men same distance in rear of them; no detached party or guard on 
the march to fire a gun if it can be avoided, except at a party or 
when we may stop to forage on individuals. 

(Signed) Jos. Geaham, Major. 

Official report of Colonel Wade of the action at Bet- 
tie's (Beattie's) Bridge, from Governor Burke's letter- 

Anson County, 6th Aug., 1781. 
Sis Excellency, Gov. Bueke. 

Sie: — The operations of the Tories in the counties of Bladen, Cum- 
berland and Richmond became very alarming in general, and more 
particularly in this quarter. 

They have taken a number of the principal men on Cape Fear 
River, and continuing so to do daily in all that part of the country 


from Wilmington to Deep River, between Cape Pear and Drowning 
Creek. Also last Saturday began to form a company on this side 
of Drowning Creek, and disarm the settlers within twenty miles of 
the Pee Dee, and carry off all men fit for duty tO' their camps. As 
they also drive off all our stock in general over Drowning Creek 
into what many call protected land, which they deem conquered, 
where they have Col. Hector McNeil and Colonel Ray with what they 
call a flying army, who force in all men able to bear arms, to join 
them in that part they deem conquered, under the penalty of the 
loss of their property. These are facts that may be depended on, as 
I received them from prisoners in my custody, whom I took last 
week, and as they appear to grow more dangerous every day, I 
ordered out one-half of my regiment, and was joined by a few men 
from Montgomery and Richmond, and proceeded in search of them, 
and on Saturday, the 4th inst., found them at Betty's (Beattie's) 
Bridge on Drowning Creek, where they had a picket guarding that 
pass, which is a very dangerous one, being a narrow lane and swamp 
very thick; when I in the night sent a picket to take possession of 
the Bridge, in order to catch some person to obtain intelligence; 
and the two guards not knowing of each other, when one of their 
men passed the bridge he was taken, and was brought into the 
camp, who informed me that their whole party lay on the high 
land opposite the bridge, where they formed and endeavored to 
bring on their men to the bridge; but the firing from our riflemen 
being warm, which began about one hour before, two companies of 
our men that had possession of the pass, and were posted to bring 
off the action, got warm and forced the bridge, and caused the 
enemy to scatter and retreat in confusion, which caused them also 
to get out of order, so that they thought their own men to be the 
enemy surrounding them, and retreated, which could not be recalled 
when the matter was discovered, the main body then being near the 
bridge. During the time our men were over the bridge in the corn- 
field, the firing was very warm for nearly ten minutes. Before they 
broke, our party saw seven dead in the lane, and a great deal of 
blood on the fences, and from the steadiness with which our party 
seemed to fire I think they received considerable loss in killed and 
wounded, and as the enemy would not be tolled over the bridge, the 
firing began again and lasted until nearly twelve o'clock, though 
very scattering, as I ordered our party never to fire at random, 
which I believe they did not, and finding the enemy slack firing and 
retreated, expected that they had formed an ambuscade to draw us 


over, and our ammunition being nearly exhausted, I thought it 
advisable to retreat and send home the wounded men. We received 
no loss, only four men wounded, three of them very slightly, and 
the other I hope will do very well. 

P. S. — Since I wrote, my spy, who was prisoner with the enemy, 
informs me that fifteen were wounded when he made his escape, and 
he understood that about twelve or thirteen were killed on the 
ground. He made his escape near aji hour before the action ended, 
as I sent him in early in the morning as making his escape from my 
camp, but being suspected, he was put under guard. Our numbers 
were nearly the same at the attack, though had we been on clear 
land we could have rendered a good account of them and put an 
end to any confusion in that neighborhood, but I hope to give them 
another stroke before long. 


The following is an epitome of North Carolina's 
military services in the Eevolntion and the laws enacted 
in furtherance of that cause. 

This has been compiled from an address by Governor 
Graham at Greensboro, N. 0., December, 1860, upon the 
Life and Character of Gen. Nathanael Greene. 

It is annexed as a means of preservation, for "ready 
reference," and as germane matter to the papers of Gen- 
eral Graham. 


I. In December, 1775, Colonel Howe's regiment of tlie North 
Carolina Line was, on the request of the Governor, sent to Virginia 
and aided the Virginia troops in suppressing an insurrection of 
whites and slaves. 

II. Lieutenantl Colonel Martin, with a portion of his regiment of 
the North Carolina Line, and Colonels Rutherford, Polk and Neal's 
regiments of North Carolina militia, aided South Carolina troops 
in suppressing the Schovillite Tories in that State. 

III. Movements which culminated in the battle and victory of 
Moore's Creek Bridge, February 27th, 1776. 

IV. Brigades of Generals Howe and Moore go to Charleston and 
aid in defeating the attack on that city by Sir Peter Parker, July 
and August, 1776. 

V. General Rutherford's expedition against the Cherokee In- 

VI. The North Carolina Continental Line, with the army under 
General Washington in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 
in 1777, '78, '79. 


VII (1). In 1777 Governor Caswell, upon the application of the 
State authorities of Virginia and South Carolina, orders the militia 
to mobolize to go to those States if called for. 

(2) Three thousand troops under General John B. Ashe marched 
to South Carolina and Georgia, upon urgent application of the Gov- 
ernor of South Carolina. 

VIII.' Two thousand m'ilitia and a portion of the North Carolina 
Line, under command of General Sumner, sent to the army of Gen- 
eral Lincoln in South Carolina. 

IX. The remnant of the North Carolina Line that had served in 
the North with General "Washington and a thousand militia march 
to Charleston. Of the three thousand men surrendered at Charles- 
ton at least seventeen hundred were from North Carolina, viz., 700 
Line, 1,000 Militia. 

X. Ramsour's Mill. Expedition against Bryan's Tories in Surry. 
Hanging Rock. Eocky Mount. Wahah's (Walkup's). Camden. 

XI. Cornwallis' invasion to Charlotte and retreat. King's Moun- 
tain. Comwallis' second invasion. Cowpens. Cowan's Ford to 
Guilford Court-Hcuse. 

XII. General Greene to Hobkirk's Hill, S. C, May 2nd, 1781. 

XIII. Sumner's Brigade of North Carolina Lin© and North Caro- 
lina Militia under Colonel Malmedy, with Sumter aad Lee in South 
Carolina and Georgia at High Hills, Eutaw, etc. 

XIV. General Rutherford's expedition down the Cape Pear to Wil- 
DJlington, October and November, 1781. 

XV. Tory War in North Carolina preceding and during the Revo- 
lution. There were no more daring exploits or magnificent exhibi- 
tions of patriotism, valor and sacrifice in their country's cause than 
in the actions between the true Americans and the Tories. It is to 
be regretted that so little of this was recorded for the use of the 
historian. In Wheeler's History of North Carolina there are refer- 
ences to these engagements under the heads of the following coun- 
ties, viz., Bladen, Duplin, Brunswick, Burke, Chatham, Craven, Gas- 
ton, Lincoln, Nash, Orange, Rowan, Surry and New Hanover. 

XVI. The North Carolina men enlisted in Mecklenburg and 
Rowan counties in the South Carolina State troops in the regiments 
of Colonels Polk, "Wade Hampton and Hill, 1780 and '81. 

In June, 1781, upon the caJl to furnish men for the Continental 
Battalions, the counties were excepted which had recently furnished 
men for the Southern army to serve ten months under General 
SuBitsr. In the course of the war on previous occasions leave had 


been granted to recruit men for botli South Carolina and Georgia 
in this State. 


I. Providing for "Line" and Militia according to requisitions of 

II. 1777 authorizing the Governor to send not exceeding 5,000 
Militia for twelve months to such points as Congress may direct. 
The Governor to command if expedient. 

III. January, 1779, 1,500 three months' men for General Lin- 
coln's army. 

IV. May, 1779, 2,000 men for service in this and adjoining States. 

V. October, 1779, 1,500 men in addition to No. Ill as "and aid" to 
South Carolina. 

VI. April, 1780, 3,000 to complete the "Line" Battalions and 4,000 
three months' men to serve in South Carolina. Major General Cas- 
well to command. 

VII. September, 1780. Established a Board of War for the more 
effectually and expeditiously calling forth the powers and resources 
of the State against a common enemy. 

VIII. January, 1781. To regulate the Militia and fill up the Line 
battalions noiw reduced to five. 

IX. June, 1781. (1) Raises one regiment. (2) Compel counties 
to furnish their quota to the Line. (3) 500 men to reinforce the 
Southern Army in Virginia or South Carolina as Commander-in- 
Chief directs. 

X. April, 1782. Raises troops to complete the Line Battalions. 




Adear, Lieut. W. S 148 

Alabama Territory 145 

Alexander, Abi'am 18, 87 

Alexander, Isaac V 18 

Alexander, John 66 

Alexander, J. McKnitt 37, 41, 180, 299 

Alexander, Rev. Joseph 20 

Alexander, Moses Winslow, M.D— 180 

Alexander, Hon. S.B 180 

Alexander, Mrs. Susan ._64-6, 68, 81, 83 
Alexander, Mrs. Violet G. and 

Family 180 

Alexander, Mrs. "Wm. Bain 168 

Alexander, Capt. "Wm 223 

Allison, Hon. John P 13 

Allison, Robt 13 

Allison, E. Washington 13 

Allison, Mrs. Sarah 13 

Anderson, Major 244 

Anderson, Dr. W. A 175 

Appendix 378 

Armour's Ford 269 

Arms, Manufacturer of 99, 246 

Armstrong, Capt. John 198 

Armstrong, Col. Thomas 47 

Asbury, Rev. Henry 162 

Ashpole 59, 375 

Atkinson, Lieut. Col. RIoh'd 147, 158 

Avery, Judge A. C 181 

Bagge 312 

Balfour, Lieut. Col 211 

Ballard, Captain 66 

Baldwin, Lieut 59 

Barber, Mrs. Mary 12 

Barnett, Mrs. Ann 13 

Barnett, Jack 195, 335 

Barnett, Thomas 13, 62, 292 

Barringer, Gen. Rufus 121, 181 

Barringer, Dr. Paul 15 

Beal, Doc 304 

Beats Captains 121 

Beattie's Bridge 355, 375 

Seattle's Ford 160, 216, 289, 296 

Beatty, John 168 

Beatty, Robert 298 

Bell's Mill 354 

Berryhill, Alexander 15 

Bethel, Captain 365 

Bigger's Ferry 194, 232, 249, 320 

Boote, Benjamin B 25, 39 

Bostwick, Mrs. Elizabeth 15, 35 

Bounty Lands 138 

Bowman, Captain 225 

Boyd, John 282 

Bradley, Prank 262 

Bradshaw, Jonas . _ 60 

Brandon, Capt. John_63, 214, 217, 220, 251 

Brevard, Capt. Alex 136, 142, 169, 172 

Brevard, Mrs. Alex 167 

Brevard, Dr. Ephraim 19, 37, 38, 137 

Brevard, Col. Hugh 216 

Brevard, John and Family 300 


Brick House 56, 354, 368 

Brigade Staff. 149 

Brown, Hon. Bedford 114 

Brown, Col. John E 181 

Brown, Col. Thomas 211 

Brown, Marsh 864 

Bryan, Colonel 198, 229, 231, 239 

Buford, Colonel 27, 48, 212 

Burke, Governor 198, 356 

Burkitt, Rev. L , 91 

Butler, General 358 

Cabarrus County 121 

Caldwell, Rev. D. A 91, 167 

CaldweU, Mrs. D. A 167 

Caldwell, Capt. Sam 194 

Calf Pasture, Va 11 

Campaign, the Snow 19, 26, 198 

Campbell, Col. Wm 276 

Canal, Albemarle and Chesapeake 

97, 107 

Carpenter, Captain 226 

Carr's Creek 260 

Caruth, Geo 35 

Caruth, Capt. John 35, 39, 311 

Caruth, Mrs. Polly 15, 35 

Caruthers, Captain 370 

Castanea Grove Church 171 

Caswell, Richard O 27, 107, 198, 248 

Catawba River 139, 163, 202 

Charleston, S. C .18, 26, 27, 43, 69, 139, 

212, 248 

Charlotte 44, 46, 49,82, 85, 247. 249 

Charlotte, Engagement at 61-66, 250-4 

Childs, Colonel 355 

Chronicle, Maj. Wm 278, 282 

Clapp's Mill 52, 195, 206, 329 

Clark, Chief Justice Walter 184 

Clark, Lieutenant 372 

Clark, Colonel 266, 342 

Cleaviand, Col. Ben 276 

Clinton, Sir Henry 211, 212, 276 

Collins, Abram 267, 276 

Connecticut 101 

Colson's Mills 230 

Connor, MaJ. H. W 149 

Conventions 1788 and 1789 91, 94 

Cowan's Ford 13, 29, 50, 66, 288-305 

Cowan's Ford, Henry pamphlet 302 

Cowpens 278, 286 

Craighead, Rev. Alex 20 

Craige, Major 814, 357 

Craven, Capt. Joshua 145 

Crawford, Capt. Thomas 145 

Cross Roads 63 

Cumberland, Captain 226 

Cummins, Captain 59 

Cunningham, Colonel 198 

Davidson, Ben Wilson 168 

Davidson College 171 

Davidson, Gen. Ephraim 146, 152 

Davidson, Capt. George 198 




Davidson, Capt. George Lee 145 

Davidson, MaJ. John 186, 146 

Davidson, MaJ. John and Family.. 167 

Davidson, Jacliie 168 

Davidson, Joseph G 166 

Davidson, Robin 168 

Davidson, Gen. William 28, 46, 48, 

50, 203, 213, 231, 246, 274, 286, 294 

Davidson, Mrs. W. L 167 

Davie, Gen. W. R-28, 43, 49, 61, 83, 91, 

134, 209, 212, 229, 283, 246, 271, 286 

Devallile, Chevalier 47 

Depeyster, Captain 274, 281 

Devane, John 99 

Dickey, Charles D 175 

Dickey Farm 204, 224 

Dickson, MaJ. Hal 46 

Dickson, John 262 

Dickson, Gen. Joseph..61, 54, 61, 251, 

258, 318, 331, 383 

Dickson, Thomas 262 

Dobbs County 112 

Dobson, Captain 225 

Dorchester, 8. O 48 

Doyle, Major 268 

Drowning Creek 211, 355, 357 

Due bills 80 

Dunn, John 25, 39 

Education 164 

Eggleston, Captain 207, 318 

Electors, Presidential 111, 116 

Elms Family 18 

Blrod, Colonel 855 

Emery's Bridge 59, 375 

Evans, Evan 13 

Falls, CapUln 214, 217, 220, 225 

Fanning, Col. David 55, 355 

Fanning, Edmund 21, 23 

Farmer, Colonel 290, 296 

Fayetteville 19, 26, 54, 94, 121, 200 

Ferguson, Col. Patrick 86, 266, 282 

Ferguson, Mrs. J. Scott 18 

Ferrand, Stephen, M.D 149 

Ford, John 195, 835 

Forney, Jacob 60 

Forney^ Peter 136, 137, 143 

Franklm, Capt. Jesse 825 

FrankUn, State of 101-105 

Frost, Capt. John 146 

Gainey, Colonel 56, 354, 871 

Garretson, Capt. John 145 

Gates, Gen. Horatio 242, 248, 273, 284 

Georgia 21, 211, '311 

Gibbon, Dr. J. H 67, 75, 79 

Gillespie, Captain 361 

Gingles, Capt. Geo. L 145, 147 

Goldthwaite, Judge Henry 175 

Gooden, Captain 42, 46, 47 

Goodman, Captain 47 

Graham, Albert K 178 

Graham, A. H., M. D 174 

Graham, Alfred 141, 177 

Graham, Judge Augustus W 184 

Graham, Charles C 142, 174 

Graham Clan, Families of 11 


Graham, Geo. and Family.25, 35, 89, 

194, 198, 240, 262 

Graham, George C 178 

Graham, Dr. Geo. F. and Family, 

141, 164, 179 

Graham, Dr. Geo. W 184 

Graham, James. Marquis of Mont- 
rose 10, 12 

Graham, James, of County Down, 

and Family 9-15 

Graham, James, of Donegal 11 

Graham, James, M. O 150, 164, 176, 

177, 179 

Graham, Capt. James A 188 

Graham, John, of Donegal II 

Graham, Dr. John 18, 19 

Graham, John D., and Family-139, 

141, 174 

Graham, MaJ. John W 183 

Graham, Jos., and Family 174-184 

Graham, Mrs. Joseph 141, 164, 173 

Graham, Joseph, Jr. and Family.. 178 

Graham, Joseph, Jr.g 178 

Graliam, Dr. Joseph 183 

Graham, Joseph M 174 

Graham, Mrs. Mary 12, 15-18 

Graham, Michael 11 

Graham, Patrick 10 

Graham, Robert O 174 

Graham, Robert D 183 

Graham, Robert M 177 

Graham, Rev. Wm 11 

Graham, Gov. William A., and 

Family 80-4, 114, 182-184 

Graham, MaJ. W. A 183 

Graham, Colonel 366 

Granville County 244, 247 

Gray, 369 

Greene, Gen. Nathaniel 136, 206, 

285, 289, 341, 347 

Hager, Fred 294 

Hall, Colonel 13, 292, 298 

Hall, Rev. Jas 311, 851 

Hambrite, Colonel 278 

Hamilton, Col. John 214 

Hampton, Colonel 218, 352 

Hanger, Major 62, 64, 67, 260, 265 

Hanging Rook 28, 44, 209, 213, 239 

Hardin, Capta,in 221, 222 

Harris Mill.. 

.299, 307 
.195, 836, 337 

Harris, Robert 

Harris, Capt. Smith .. 

Harris, Dr. Stanhope 179 

Hart's Mill 196, 206, 313 

Hawkin's Farm 887, 342 

Hawkins, Fort 152 

Hawkins, Gov. Wm..88, 84, 79,117,151-155 

Hayes, Dr. W. J 180 

Haynes, Alex 257 

Henry, James 262 

Herring, Richard 99 

Hill, Lieut.-Gen. D. H 181 

Hill, Col.Wm 373 

Hilton, Lieutenant 47 

Hood, Capt. Robert 145, 168 

Hopewell Church 166, 168, 180, 293 

Hornet's Nest 84 

Houston, Geo 262 




Houston, Hugh 262 

Houston, Capt. James 225 

Howard, Colonel 285 

Huggina (Haglns), Col 209 

Hunter, Dr. C. L 171 

Indians, Catawba 213, 320, 330, 332 

Indians, Cherokee 26, 166, 198, 200 

Indians, Creek 145, 153 

Indian Creek 213 

Instruction of U. S.;Senator.llO, 114, 118 

Internal Improvements 162 

Iredell, James 91, 92 

Iron, Manufacture of 136-144 

Iron, Pig 140 

Irvine, Adjt. Francis 147 

Irwin, Jas. P 181 

Irwin, Col. Robert 209, 236, 240, 246 

Jack, Capt. James 25, 38 

Jackson, Gen. Andrew 61, 68, 145, 155 

Jackson, Lieut. Jas 203, 311 

Jackson, Rev. Jonathan 355 

Jackson, Gen. T. J. (Stonewall) 181 

Johnson, David 195, 335 

Johnston, Col. James 217, 219 

Johnston, Dr. Wm 143, 172 

Johnston, Col. Wm 179 

Jones, 'Willie 92, 97 

Jurors 96 

Keener, Abram 226 

Kennedy, Captain 156, 369 

Kennon, Wm 37, 38 

Kerr, MaJ. David 147 

King, Rev. Joseph 149 

King's Mountain 86, 194, 202, 273 

Kirkwood, Capt 330, 332 

Knox, Capt. James 27, 340 

Knox, Matthew 269 

Krider, Capt. Jacob 146 

Datham, Dr. Richard 149 

Laws, how enacted 116 

Lee, Col. R. H 57, 82, 190, 208,240, 

317, 324, 343, 345 

Legislature 94-136 

Leonard, Colonel 58 

Lenoir, Gen. W 91, 189 

Leslie, General ■ 285 

Lexington, Mass 37 

Lewis, Major M 51, 203, 325 

Liberty Hall 24 

Lillis, Colonel 358 

Lincoln, General 47, 211 

Lindsay, Colonel 64, 255 

Locke, Col. Francis, 213, 217, 228, 246, 

307, 311 

Locke, Lieut. Geo 64, 83, 255 

Lookwood's Folly 56, 371 

Long, John 262 

Low's Mill 338 

Lytle, Col. Arch'd 42, 47, 61 

Machpelah 188, 170-173 

Madison, President 145 

Mail Routes HI, 160 

Mallard Creek 213,249, 254 

Malmedy, Colonel 43, 47, 61 

Mangum, Hon. W. P 42, 114 

Marion, Gen. Francis 56, 210, 255 


Marsh Castle 49 

Martin, Gov. Alex 364 

Martin, Gov. Joslah 23, 39, 263, 299' 

Martin, Capt. James 146 

Martin, Col. Joseph 102, 198 

Martin, Capt. N. M 213, 297 

Massachusetts 101 

Mattocks, Capt. John 282 

McAdoo, 362 

McAlpine Creek 62, 194, 247, 249, 274 

MoArthur, Major 229,231, 257, 268 

MoBee.V. A 60 

McCafferty, Wm 270 

McCall, Col. Hugh 205 

McCawley, Maj. Wm 149, 153 

McDougal, Colonel 358 

McDowell, Col. Chas 275, 277 

McDowell, Maj. Joseph —91, 206,215, 277 

McEwen's Pord 216 

McFall's Mills 358 

McGirt 43, 47 

Molntyre's Farm 28, 195, 258 

MoKlsslok, Capt. Dan 226 

Maclane, Dr. Wm 194 

Haclane, Mrs. Dr. Wm 167 

McLane, Capt. John 146 

McLure, Ensign 240 

McLure, Thomas 262 

McMillan, Maj. John 148 

McNeill, Colonel 355 

McRee, Mrs. Jennie 15, 35 

McWhorter, Rev 212 

Mecklenburg County — 
Convention May 20th, 1775.-25, 33, 

86-9, 166 
Declaration of Independence„33, 


Signers of the Declaration 41 

Celebration of 1835 41 

Militia officers 1792 31 

Troops in Revolutionary War, 26, 
27-9^ 43, 47, 55, 61, 145, 198, 206, 210, 

212, 232, 285, 348, 353, 856, 370 

Mero District 107 

Middleton, Colonel 210, 853 

Militia Organization 121, 144-145 

Militia, 7th Regiment N. C, 1814 _145-147 

Militia, Regiment S. C, 1814 147 

Military Academy for N. C 104-134 

Mills, Grist 123 

Mitchell, Joe 195, 335 

Monroe, Lieut 370 

Moon's Creek 46 

Moore, Charles 15 

Moore's Creek 27, 46, 198 

Moore, Col. John 214, 226 

Moore's Plantation 56, 366 

Moore's History of N. C 150 

Morgan, Gen. Daniel 50, 135, 284, 

287, 289, 30O, 302 

Morrison, Rev. A. J 181 

Morrison, Capt. Jos. G 143, 172, 181 

Morrison, Mrs.Mary G.,and Family, 181 

Morrison, Rev. R. H 169, 181, 185 

Morrison, Dr. R. H., M. D 181 

Mountain Creek 217 

Muddy Branch 63, 253 

Murphey, Judge A. D 190 

Murray, Captain 226 




Nash, Lieut.-Col. Reuben 165 

Nash, Rev. Fred 165 

National Intelligencer 68, 69 

Neal, Col. Andrew 198, 237 

Negroes paid N. C. Troops by S. C— 95 
Nelson, MaJ. John 47 

North Carolina Line 42, 55, 247 

North Carolina Newspapers 198, 199 

North Carolina Partisan Rangers.. 66 

North Carolina Troops, 190, 206, 

209,247, 286 
North Carolina, Mistakes in History 
of 150, 202-207 

Oldham, Captain 320, 330 

Old Town Creek 370 

Orangeburg, S. C 29 

Orange County 247, 274, 284 

Orders, Military 58-9, 374-375 

Orr, Harvey 174 

Osborne, Judge J. W 42 

Owen, Col. Thos 358, 360 

Paper, Manufacture of 108 

Parthian "Warfare 256 

Patrols 107 

Peaches, Coneojig 77 

Pearson Col. Jesse A 147, 153, 156 

Personal 161-165 

Pickens, Gen. Andrew 51, 194, 203, 

206, 209, 311, 313, 327, 328, 348 

Pierce, Major 188 

Pincliney, Gen. Thomas 45, 151, 155 

Polk, Col. Thomas 195, 200, 351 

Polk, Lieut. Thos 365, 367 

Polk, Maj. Wm 46, 155, 251 

Polk's Mill 252 

Poplar Tent Church 13 

Preston, Colonel 322, 330, 342 

Price Family 13 

Prices of Articles 1784 and 1792 31, 88 

Potts, Captain 288, 289 

Prophets, Indian 157 

Protests 105, 112, 113 

Pulaski, Count 47 

Purysburg, S. C 47 

Pyle's Massacre..51, 195, 207, 318, 322, 339 

Queen's Museum., 
Quinn, ■ 

.16, 18, 19-24, 25, 36 

Rabb, Wm 282 

Raft Swamp 55, 360 

Ramsay, Capt. David 149 

Ramsay, Robert 65, 266 

Ramsour's Mill 27, 211 

Rawdon, Lord 23, 43, 44, 212, 214, 257 

Ray, Colonel 376 

Reedy Fork 213, 257, 349 

Reese's Plantation _. 213 

T?ppgp Dr 37 

Reid, 'Capt. David ZIir.."~27,'28i 240 

Reid, Capt. John 169 

Robinson, John 262 

Robinson, Robert 262 

Rocky Mount 194, 206,209, 236 

Rowan Coumy 63, 85, 198, 209, 246, 

285, 307, 311, 348, 370 


Rudolph, Major 330, 332, 343 

Rush, Dr 19 

Rutland, W. C 178 

Rutherford, Gen. G 43, 47, 55, 58, 

91. 212, 229, 241, 356, 364-371 
Rutherford, MaJ. James 224 

Salem 108, 203, 312 

Salt 354, 374 

Sapp, Captain 370 

Sassafras Fields 202, 255 

Scotch-Irish 9, 121 

Scott, James 298 

Seven Creeks 56, 371 

Sevier, Col. John 100-3, 277 

Shallow Ford 307 

Sharp, Major 27 

Sherrill's Ford 216, 218, 229 

Shipley, Edward 262 

Shipley, George 262 

Slmms, Capt. Charles 149 

Simmons, Capt. Richard 194, 203, 

213, 313, 329, 356 

Slaves 78, 109, 111, 120, 122, 123 

Sloan, Col. John 174 

Small-pox 352 

Smallwood, General 243, 284 

Smart, Mrs 64 

Smith, Lieut.-Col. Robert 225, 356, 370 

Smith, MaJ. T. McGehee 180 

South Carolina 27, 29, 95, 198, 

203, 209, 211, 212, 232, 241, 311 

Spain, Rev. Hartwell 60 

Specie Payments 89 

Spencer's History of N. C 150 

Steele Creek Church 13, 232 

Stedman, Major 29, 66, 303 

Stevenson, John 195, 335 

Stewart, Captain 355 

Stoney Creek 313 

Stono Battle 47, 212 

Strange, Hon. Robert 114 

Sugar (Sugaw) Creek Church.16, 20, 

29 253 

Sumner, Gen. Jethro 43, 247, 249 

Sumter, Gen. Thomas 84, 95, 193, 

206, 209, 233, 249 
Swain, Gov. David L 42 

Tax, Land 109 

Tax, United States 122 

Tennessee 97, 161-162 

Thompson, Capt. James-28, 194, 258, 262 

Thompson, Colonel: 198 

Tipton, Col. John 103 

Tobacco 121, 122 

Tool's Ford 216, 288 

Torrance, Lieut. Robert 147 

Torrance's Tavern 297 

Trading Ford 301 

Troublesome Creek 347 

Troublesome Ironworks 347 

Tuckasege Ford 159, 216, 288 

Turnbull, Colonel 236 

Turrentine, Major Samuel 147 

Tyler, President 176 

Unity Church 166,168-70, 186 

University, Washington Lee 11 




University of JST. C 107 

Usury Law 107 

Vesuvius Furnace 159 

Virginia Troops 101, 276-283 

Waage, MaJ. M. G ^ 149 

■Waddell's FeriT 364 

Waddell, Gen.Hugli 226 

Wade, Col. Thomas 355, 375 

Wahabs (Waikup) 29, 113 

Ware, Adjt. Edward 148 

Warlick, Captain 228 

Watson, Dr. Joseph 149 

Washington, Col 54, 284, 329, 343 

Waxhaw 48, 69, 212, 213, 233 

Watts, Lieut. Beaufort 148 

Welsh, Major Nick 215, 223 

Whitsell's Mill 54,340, 346 

Williams, Col. James 190, 278, 282 


Williams, Col. John 288-299 

WiUiams, Col. Otho-52, 206, 229, 333, 

343, 353 

Wilmington 43, 52,54,99, 353 

Wilson, MaJ. David 214, 217, 223, 294 

Wilson. Rev. W.H 172 

Wilson, Samuel 166 

Wilson, Zaoh 84 

Winnsboro, S.C 24, 84, 272, 284 

Winston, MaJ. Jos 276 

Witherspoon, Dr. John 175 

Witherspoon, Mrs. Sophia, and 

Family , 175 

Witherspoon, Dr. R. Sidney 175 

Witherspoon, Thos. F 175 

Witherspoon, W. Alfred 175 

Yadkin River 203 

Yeatman's Mill 13 

Young, Col. John A ..-. 174